The organisers of the Boston Marathon have sent a message of support on the original scheduled date for this year's race and have urged people not to run the route.
Before the COVID-19 crisis, the 124th edition of the marathon was due to take place today, but because of the increased risk of spread it has been moved to September 14.
Among the well wishes, the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) sent a statement hoping that all families are safe during the crisis which has already claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people in the United States alone.
They also warned those who were set to participate today to not run the course.
"For the first time in Boston Marathon history, we are urging anyone considering running the Boston Marathon course this week to stay home, follow social distancing guidelines, and help flatten the curve," the BAA said.
We may not be together tomorrow, but we can still share in the spirit & community that makes the Boston Marathon unique. Share photos of your support crews, marathon memories, families, friends, or strangers you met on the course—make sure to tag us for a chance to be featured! pic.twitter.com/5pSKdNrKPV— Boston Marathon (@bostonmarathon) April 19, 2020
"Roads will not be closed to vehicular traffic and groups of runners would divert valuable, urgent resources from the cities and towns along the course.
"Every year, the Boston Marathon is supported by thousands of medical personnel and first responders from across Massachusetts - we simply could not do it without them.
"They are there for us through the rain, heat, cold and any ailment that we may be met with from Hopkinton to Boston.
"Now we must support them as they work the front lines to battle the COVID-19 pandemic."
The statement ended with an urge to contain the spread, with the rescheduled Boston Marathon date hanging in the balance as the United States' confirmed cases have totalled over 764,000.
This is 564,000 more than the second most-affected country, Spain.
Boston is one of the World Marathon Majors along with New York, Chicago, London, Berlin and Tokyo.