People play street hockey in Dawson City during Thaw di Gras in 2011. The Klondike Visitors Association has cancelled all its Thaw di Graw events for 2020.

KVA cancels its Thaw di Gras events

Diamond Tooth Gertie’s is also closed until further notice amid concerns about COVID-19

Dawson City’s Diamond Tooth Gertie’s Gambling Hall is closed until further notice and the Klondike Visitors Association (KVA) has cancelled all of its events that were going to be part of this weekend’s Thaw di Gras Spring Festival.

Marketing manager Paul Robitaille said the KVA, the festival’s main organizer, is recommending that all the other community groups that had organized events for Thaw di Gras also cancel, amid concerns about COVID-19.

Robitaille called the cancelation the “worst thing ever” but said the decision was made in consultation with medical professionals.

“There’s too much unknown out there,” Robitaille said. “We’re trying to be proactive.”

The visitors association is directly involved in about 10 of the 40-or-so events that had been scheduled for Thaw di Gras from March 13 to 15.

Robitaille said “Thaw di Gras is bigger than the KVA” and the organization can’t technically force other groups to cancel.

COVID-19 was recently declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.

Earlier this week the Yukon’s deputy medical officer of health said “scores” of people in the Yukon are being tested for the virus daily, but that the risk remains low in the territory.

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