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Cooper River Bridge Run postponed until August 1 amid coronavirus emergency

Public officials and event organizers are expected to announce the postponement of the Cooper River Bridge Run as early as Friday afternoon, sources tells ABC News 4. (FILE/WCIV)

Public officials and event organizers agreed Friday afternoon to postpone the Cooper River Bridge Run until August 1, race director Irv Batten said, confirming earlier information provided to ABC News 4.

The postponement comes in direct response to public health precautions being taken against the spread of the novel coronarvirus (COVID-19).

The announcement of the Bridge Run postponement follows a conference with Lowcountry leaders and Bridge Run stakeholders to discuss contingencies for the event.

The race, typically held in early spring, previously was scheduled for April 4, 2020.

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg had said Thursday that stakeholders already were discussing other potential dates, but hadn't made a formal decision to postpone.

Cooper River Bridge Run officials released the following statement Friday about the decision to postpone the race:

Consistent with our mission of promoting community and individual health and wellness, the April 4th, 2020 Cooper River Bridge Run will be rescheduled to August 1st, 2020.
In cooperation with community and municipal leaders, the Cooper River Bridge Run will continue to work to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone in our region and our race participants.
We look forward to welcoming you in August for a memorable weekend in Charleston. In the meantime, stay healthy and continue your preparation to “Get Over It!”
The CRBR will keep everyone up to date with more information as it becomes available and wants to thank the county for coordinating with local mayors and staff in making this important change in the schedule.

Friday's announcement comes amid mounting public safety measures being taken across the country to combat the coronavirus.

President Donald Trump invoked National Emergency powers Friday afternoon as he takes actions allowing the federal government to increase aid to states in the ongoing fight against the spreading COVID-19 illness.

Additionally, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster has declared a state of emergency, suspending public schools in two counties where a majority of South Carolina's 12 confirmed or suspected coronavirus infections are concentrated.

Health experts globally have encouraged people to avoid large gatherings, such as the Cooper River Bridge Run, as a means of thwarting the spread of the virus causing COVID-19 illnesses.

The Cooper River Bridge Run in recent years has consistently attracted more than 40,000 people to the Charleston area for the 10K race and associated events.

For comparison, Boston Marathon event organizers postponed that race on Thursday for public health concerns over the coronavirus. It similarly draws tens of thousands of people to the Boston metro area each spring.

But it's not only Cooper River Bridge Run participants that flock to the Lowcountry the first weekend of each April.

The Bridge Run annually coincides with the start of the Volvo Car Open women's professional tennis tournament on Daniel Island in Charleston, and the Flowertown Festival in Summmerville.

Those two events draw additional thousands of domestic and international visitors to the area.

But Volvo Car Open officials announced Thursday they were indefinitely postponing this year's tournament in response to coronavirus fears, doing so amid a wave of postponements and cancellations by other professional and scholastic sports leagues.

Flowertown Festival officials say they are still evaluating the situation and relying on guidance of state public health experts and government officials.

(Stay with ABC News 4 for updates to this developing story).