EDMONTON -- Without any cases of COVID-19 in Yukon, event and government officials say cancelling the 2020 Arctic Winter Games is the most responsible precautionary measure.

The games were set to run March 15 to 21. 

The AWG Host Society announced the cancellation Sunday, adding the decision was supported by the City of Whitehorse and Yukon government.

Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health Catherine Elliott said her recommendation was made out of concern for all Yukoners as well as games athletes, staff, volunteers and families.

"In a setting like the Arctic Winter Games, even a suspected case would be devastating," Elliott wrote in a statement.

"It is with a heavy heart that I have had to make this recommendation. It is the responsible recommendation, and it is very unfortunate.”

The competition was expected to draw up to 2,000 people.

Alberta communities north of the 55th parallel were eligible to participate. 

Officials said the coronavirus risk remains low in Yukon, and that the medical system is well prepared to handle any cases that are detected.