The Northwoods League announced Monday it is preparing to start the 2020 season as anticipated despite the spread of COVID-19 across the United States.

"With fan, player and personnel safety as our primary concern, the Northwoods League has been closely monitoring the progression of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on public gatherings such as sporting and special events," the league said in a statement issued Monday.

"The League takes seriously its responsibility to focus on the facts, and to act with common sense and sound judgment after considering the best available information. A proactive process is, and will be, ongoing as events continue to unfold, but for now, the League is preparing for the start of its season as anticipated.

"Please rest assured that the Northwoods League and its affiliates will continue to closely monitor the situation, and will continue to do so as events unfold. Stay tuned, and stay safe."

A wood-bat summer league for NCAA baseball players to take part in after their college seasons conclude, the 2020 Northwoods League season is scheduled to begin May 26. The Duluth Huskies open on the road at the Bismarck Larks. The Huskies home opener against the St. Cloud Rox at Wade Stadium is scheduled for June 1.

College sports has ceased operations with the NCAA canceling its winter and spring championship events last week due to the public health risk of COVID-19.

After originally stating the start of the regular season would be pushed back two weeks, Major League Baseball announced Monday that Opening Day — originally scheduled for March 26 — won't be until the middle of May following the recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to restrict events of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks.

The Huskies have canceled their upcoming Hot Stove event scheduled for March 24 at Belknap Lounge in Superior.

This story was updated at 1:58 p.m. March 16 with MLB pushing Opening Day back even further to mid-May. It was originally posted at 12:17 p.m. March 16.

As a public service, we’ve opened this article to everyone regardless of subscription status.