COVID-19 concerns prompt plenty of community, school cancellations

Updated: Mar. 13, 2020 at 10:34 PM EDT
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OGDENSBURG, N.Y. (WWNY) - The fight against coronavirus means a lot of event cancellations at schools. The impact is rippling across communities.

For 43 years the Ogdensburg Boys and Girls Club Expo has been the place to go to shake those late-winter blues. But not this year.

“Unfortunately, and for the safety of all due to the coronavirus, we have cancelled expo for this year,” said Tom Luckie, Ogdensburg Boys and Girls Club executive director.

The expo is just one of about 20 events that were to take place at Ogdensburg schools – and are now canceled. And it's happened for 30 other events at schools across the county.

“Schools are doing this for safety. We want to protect our students. We want to reduce the spread of this virus, potentially. So safety comes first,” said Thomas Burns, St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES superintendent.

That doesn't take away the sting - 40 children were looking forward to being in a play Saturday. Not now. Senior class trips are also falling by the wayside.

“There's an incredible sense of disappointment that comes with the cancellation of some of these events," said Burns. "People are disappointed, but they're understanding.”

The schools are following guidelines from the state health department and the county's own public health department.

Some events cancelled are small things, like open gym nights. But others are signature community events like the Boys and Girls Club Expo at Ogdensburg Free Academy.

“The club got this started in the late 70's and it's still going strong today. It's our major fundraiser,” said Luckie.

Since news of the cancellation broke Thursday night, the club has received thousands of dollars in direct donations.

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