Stacy Robinson

Union coach Stacy Robinson sprays down blocking pads with a disinfectant after a summer workout.

HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Wolf announced Thursday that he is calling on schools to cancel fall sports, saying anything that creates a crowd is going to help the spread of coronavirus.

"The recommendation is we don't do any sports until Jan. 1," Wolf said.

The abrupt announcement came at the end of a press conference about expanding COVID-19 testing and days after state health officials had indicated they were crafting guidelines regarding whether to allow fans at high school sporting events. Earlier Thursday, Penn State Athletics released a statement saying current guidance will mean no fans at Penn State events this fall.

"The guidance is we ought to avoid congregate settings," Wolf said. "Anytime we get together for any reason that's a problem."

The governor's announcement comes after the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association had met and voted to allow sports to move forward. Under the PIAA's plan, sports teams were due to begin playing games as soon as Aug. 20, when golf matches were due to begin.

This story will be updated.

CNHI PA State Reporter

John Finnerty reports from the Harrisburg Bureau for the New Castle News and other Pennsylvania newspapers owned by CNHI. Email him at and follow him on Twitter @cnhipa.

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