Ohio Governor to Mandate No Fans at In-State Indoor Sporting Events Due to Coronavirus

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Ohio governor Mike DeWine will issue a state order prohibiting fans from attending indoor sporting events in Ohio because of the spread of coronavirus.

DeWine issued a state of emergency in Ohio on Wednesday amid the growing outbreak. 

The announcement came shortly before the NCAA said that all upcoming NCAA tournament games would be played without fans in attendance. The First Four games will be played in Dayton on March 17 and 18, with Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland playing host to first and second round games on March 20 and 22. 

DeWine's order, which is expected to take effect in the next couple days, will affect all major sporting events in the state, including college basketball, NBA and NHL games. 

"The reason we're doing the things we're doing," DeWine said, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, "is we have the potential of becoming Italy." 

The entire country of Italy has been placed under lockdown, as the Italian government attempts to control the spread of coronavirus. On Monday, the country suspended all sporting events until at least April 3, including Serie A competition and preparatory events for the Olympics. The decision marked the first time Serie A had been canceled since World War II.

The Big 12, ACC, Big East and SEC have all announced they will not allow media in the locker room for their conference tournaments, following the NBA, MLB, NHL and MLS making similar announcements. None of the major conferences, however, have decided to restrict spectator access at their tournaments. 

On Wednesday, the Ivy League canceled all spring sports for its schools, one day after cancelling its men's and women's basketball tournaments. The College Basketball Invitational was also canceled due to coronavirus fears.

The United States has more than 1,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, while the global total is nearly 120,000.