To minimize the spread of COVID-19, the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford has canceled all of its athletic events for the spring season and closed the Kessel Athletic Complex to gatherings exceeding 25 people.
“These were not easy decisions to make, but they were necessary ones,” said Bret Butler, director of athletics and recreational sports. “We are taking these actions to help avoid the spread of the virus and keep our community protected.”
Canceling the spring season affects Pitt-Bradford’s men’s baseball, women’s softball, men’s tennis, men’s golf and women’s bowling teams. The Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference, in which Pitt-Bradford’s competes, on Friday canceled its scheduled spring championships.
Closing the athletic complex to gatherings exceeding 25 people will affect Bradford Area High School’s baseball and tennis teams, which uses the facility to practice and compete.
Butler shared the university’s decision with school district officials on Friday.
“We expect to reinstate community team use when the current coronavirus threat is over,” Butler added.
The university’s other athletics facility, the Richard E. and Ruth McDowell Sport and Fitness Center, is closed for public use. However, staff and faculty offices in that building will remain open.
The action came during spring break, when three Pitt-Bradford teams were on the road competing. The men’s baseball and golf teams competed in Florida, and the women’s softball team played in Arizona. Additionally, Randy Ruffner, director of recreation, took a group of students to Vermont for a ski trip.
“During each of these trips, we’ve been closely monitoring the health and well-being of all of our students,” Butler said. “I’m happy to report that as of Friday afternoon, all of the students on these trips were healthy.”
These students will be returning to campus over the next few days to retrieve their belongings and return home.
On Wednesday, the University of Pittsburgh announced that all of its campuses would move to online classes beginning March 23 for the remainder of the semester. To prepare for the transition, classes were canceled the week of March 16.
As of Friday evening, the campus remains open.