Spokane Chinese Association cancels Lunar New Year celebration amid coronavirus concerns

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane Chinese Association has decided to cancel Saturday’s Lunar New Year event amid rising concerns of coronavirus.

The celebration was initially scheduled to take place from 1-6 p.m. at the University High School.

In a statement sent out Friday, the association said, “We apologize for the inconveniences caused by this urgent decision.”

The deadly virus has killed at least 41 people in China, according to CNN, infecting 1,400 more.

So far, there have been two confirmed cases in the US, one of which happens to be in Washington state.

A Snohomish County man in his 30’s tested positive for the virus after traveling to China. He is currently under observation.

Ping Ping, the president of the Spokanes Chinese Association, said she spoke with an epidemiologist at the Spokane Center for Disease and Control and was given the go-ahead to proceed with the ceremony.

Concern from community members and performers scheduled for the event had them rethink the decision.

In a meeting Friday night, all 9 board members voted to cancel the event.

“We want to be cautious for the Spokane community,” said Ping Ping. “Though we are not responsible, we would still feel responsible if anyone got sick.”

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