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Central Coast school districts announce cancellations for athletics, other events

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Central Coast school districts make announcements regarding sports and events scheduling in reaction to the coronavirus pandemic. (Dave Alley/KEYT)

SANTA MARIA, Calif. -- As the sports world reacts to the global coronavirus pandemic, so too are Central Coast school districts.

On Thursday, several important announcements were made by districts throughout Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counites.

The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District said in a statement it will, "cancel or postpone non-essential travel and events for students and staff through at least the remainder of March."

Events that are deemed essential includes, field trips, athletic events, athletic travel, dances, events, professional development and large meetings.

In addition, all practices will be cancelled starting Friday.

The district emphasized that daily class instruction will be held as normal.

The San Luis Obispo County Office of Education said in a statement that a county districts are adhering to the Governor’s Office and the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Office recommendations.

The guidelines recommend the cancellation of events and gatherings of 250 people or more.

The statement also said that all non-essential gatherings such as field trips, shows, dances, assemblies, other events, and meetings under 250 people will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by each individual school district superintendent or charter school director.

In the morning, the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) announced the upcoming State Basketball Championships in Sacramento have been cancelled.

The move impacts the Arroyo Grande boys basketball team, which earned a trip to the state title game after an historic win on Tuesday in the Southern California regional championship.

With the victory over Providence (Burbank), Arroyo Grande was set to play Saint Mary's (Albany) for the Division III title.

Instead, the game will not be played.

"There is definitely a sense of sadness and some disappointment, but there's also a tremendous sense of pride that our boys were able to finish their season the way that they did as Southern California Division III champions," said athletic director Stephen Field. "As much as we wanted to go, we understand and respect the decision that was made. I think it was the right decision for all."

At the college level, Cal Poly announced Thursday morning that it would hold upcoming spring games without fans.

However, soon after that announcement, the Big West Conference decided that all athletic events involving its nine member schools would be suspended indefinitely, effective immediately.

Just a short time later, the NCAA made an announcement the upcoming NCAA Tournament, as well as all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships will be cancelled.

On Thursday afternoon, Allan Hancock College said in a statement, all athletic events through the month of March will take place as scheduled.

At Cuesta College, the school said athletic events are canceled until further notice.

California / Community / Education / High School Sports / Safety / San Luis Obispo County / Santa Maria - North County / Sports

Dave Alley

Dave Alley is a reporter and anchor at KCOY|KEYT|KKFX.