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NHL suspends season due to coronavirus

A general view of the arena bowl prior to NHL action between the Winnipeg Jets and the St. Louis Blues in Game One of the Western Conference First Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Bell MTS Place on April 10, 2019 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Jonathan Kozub | NHLI | Getty Images

The National Hockey League suspended its 2019-2020 regular season due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus, the league announced Thursday. The suspension begins immediately, and games planned for Thursday night will be canceled, the league said.

The NHL said it made the decision after the NBA decided to suspend its season after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus.

“Our goal is to resume play as soon as it is appropriate and prudent, so that we will be able to complete the season and award the Stanley Cup,” the NHL said in a statement.

The New York Post first reported the NHL would suspend its season, which would come after a flurry of cancellations in the sports world.

Earlier Thursday, Major League Soccer announced the suspension of its season for 30 days due to the fast-spreading outbreak. Organizers also announced the PGA Tour will play without fans until at least April 5.

Late Wednesday, the NBA suspended its season after a Utah Jazz player tested positive tested positive for COVID-19.

Within the U.S., at least 1,300 coronavirus cases have been confirmed, according to data compiled from Johns Hopkins University. 

Earlier this week, the NHL and other major sports leagues changed locker room access to reduce the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.