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Fear of Coronavirus outbreak raises possibility of canceling Leesburg Bikefest

Leesburg’s Bikefest is a month and a half away but with fears of the Coronavirus quickly spreading, one city commissioner has raised the possibility of canceling the upcoming highly popular event – and others – that pump millions of dollar into the tri-county area.

Leesburg Bikefest, which is scheduled to begin on April 24, brings thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts into the city and pumps millions of dollars into the tri-county area.

“I know from talking to people that they still think this is not a big deal and hopefully it’s not going to be,” Commissioner Dan Robuck III said during Monday night’s regularly scheduled meeting. “But three weeks ago in Italy they had three cases and they just announced that the entire country is on quarantine. They’ve canceled all large gatherings, churches, everything through April 2. So, they went from three cases to 60 million people in quarantine. It can happen very quickly.”

Commissioner Dan Robuck III

Robuck said he wasn’t suggesting a decision about canceling Bikefest, this weekend’s 43rd Annual Arts Festival or various recreation programs be made immediately. But he quickly added that city leaders need to be prepared to act quickly – especially when it comes to Bikefest.

“That’s a huge one that brings a couple of hundred thousand people here,” he said. “I think it’s very much in the realm of possibility that we’d have be in the position to cancel that.”

Robuck also encouraged area residents take every precaution possible to thwart the spread of COVID-19 – especially taking time to thoroughly wash their hands.

“It’s literally the number one thing you can do to help stop this spread,” he said.

The longtime commissioner also encouraged residents – especially senior citizens – to get extra months of medications in case issues arise with drugs being available. He suggested having two to three weeks of food available in case of a quarantine-type situation and encouraged those with elderly family members to be available to help them moving forward.

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