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Out of an abundance of caution, the U.S. Army made the decision to cancel this year's Bataan Memorial Death March scheduled for March 15, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 threat.

We apologize for any inconvenience this will cause to our guests, race participants, volunteers, sponsors and other stakeholders, many of whom are traveling from outside the state of New Mexico.

The Army is taking precautionary measures to protect the health of the force and the march's participants, and is following the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to cancel gatherings of 250 participants or more in locations where there is minimal to moderate threat of the virus spreading.

The safety of our Soldiers, civilians, families and the march's participants is our top priority.

Currently, there are no known COVID-19 cases reported at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., and the latest information from the CDC is the threat to public health and the risk of exposure to the virus remains low here. Military and public health officials have not seen evidence of COVID-19 spreading here at this time.

Additional information on preventive measures can be found on the Bataan Memorial Death March website: www.bataanmarch.com Another excellent source for up-to-date information is on the COVID-19 virus web page at cdc.gov/coronavirus.

Protecting our people and the health of our force is the Army's top priority. Protecting the force includes mitigating the spread of the virus and ensuring personnel have the most up-to-date information on appropriate measures to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19. The Army's decision to cancel this event will help keep the risk of exposure low.