The Latest: ACC tourney preparing for games without fans

FILE - In this March 17, 2019, file photo, Yale players pose for a photograph with the championship trophy after defeating Harvard in an NCAA college basketball game for the Ivy League championship at Yale University in New Haven, Conn. The Ivy League on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, canceled its men's and women's basketball tournaments because of concerns about the spread of coronavirus. The four-team tournaments were scheduled to be played Friday through Sunday at Lavietes Pavilion in Cambridge. The Ivy League instead will award its automatic NCAA Tournament bids to the regular-season champions, the Princeton women and Yale men.

Although Colorado's governor declared a state of emergency, the coronavirus has not impacted the state of sports here — yet.

Unless anyone includes the decision to ban media from the locker rooms of the Nuggets, the Avalanche and the Rapids and, in Arizona, the clubhouse of the Rockies. That’s a minor irritant to a few.

But, life in general, in Colorado and in diversions such as sports could be changing significantly.

Major matters for sports fanatics would be if games and sports events are postponed, canceled or played without spectators, or if athletes, coaches, team personnel and their loyalists show symptoms of the virus.

Gov. Jared Polis said Tuesday during his public press conference that the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Colorado increased to 15. “There will be more,’’ he added. The governor has authority to close buildings, limit travel and shut down public gatherings, but there has been no pronouncement so far by authorities regarding sports.

For instance, the Colorado High School Activities Association is moving forward with the state high school boys' and girls' basketball tournaments this week at arenas along the Front Range. The Avalanche play in Denver on Wednesday night while the Nuggets are on the road for three consecutive games; the Rapids host a game in Commerce City on March 21, and the Switchbacks have their home opener in Colorado Springs on Saturday.

High school and college spring sports schedules have begun, or are about to.

The Rockies open their home season April 3, and the Nuggets and the Avalanche will be playing from March into April or later.

If the coronavirus is contained in Colorado, perhaps there will be no reverberations felt in sports. But nobody knows now.

Sports already has been influenced and modified throughout this country and the entire world by the spread of the disease, perhaps, in part, because of overreaction, but primarily because of necessary and reasonable caution, concern and careful consideration.

Dialogues about postponing or canceling the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo have advanced. Proposals that March Madness games, culminating with the Final Four, be played without spectators have surfaced. Could the Major League Baseball season be pushed back?

The Japanese League already has postponed the opening of its baseball season and is playing exhibitions without anyone in the stands.

When the virus mushroomed in China, the country’s professional basketball league, which includes more than 30 Americans, called off the rest of the season. The Tokyo Marathon was limited to elite runners.

The BNP Paribas Open, a prestigious professional tennis tournament in Indian Wells, Calif., was canceled last week. The Ivy League scratched its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments and declared Yale men and Princeton women, the regular-season champions, as representatives to the NCAA tournament.

Division III tournament games at Johns Hopkins were played without crowds.

Italy, the hardest-stricken country in Europe, suspended all sports events into April, and a World Cup skiing weekend will not take place. Days ago professional soccer teams Inter Milan and Juventus played in an empty stadium as star Cristiano Ronaldo waved at imaginary fans.

In a rare joint decision, NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS commissioners issued a statement restricting locker rooms and clubhouses to employees. All the leagues, including the NFL, have formulated contingency plans depending on what may happen.

Not surprisingly, NFL owners and general managers (including Joe Ellis and John Elway) decided to proceed with their meeting at the end of this month in Palm Beach, Fla.

Polis was very solemn and direct in reviewing efforts to slow and stop the spread of the virus in Colorado.

Be aware. Sports is not immune.