ST. PAUL — The Twin Cities Marathon and other races put on by Twin Cities In Motion are set to go virtual this year due to concerns about the coronavirus.

Race organizers on Tuesday, June 23, said they were shifting the 39th Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Weekend online rather than hosting in-person events. The race and various other events were set to take place in October, but organizers said runners will now time themselves.

The decision comes as the Department of Health on Tuesday reported nine more Minnesotans had died from COVID-19 and 245 more had been confirmed positive for the illness. In total, 33,469 have been sickened with COVID-19 and 1,393 have perished from the illness.

The state has set a cap on entertainment and physical fitness event attendance at 250 and Twin Cities Marathon organizers said they weren't sure that cap would lift or that larger-scale outdoor athletic events would be approved in time for the race. Several other high-profile marathons and events have been canceled due to similar concerns.

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"TCM made the decision with an appreciation for the disappointment it will cause, you, our runners," race organizers said in an email to participants. "The decision was guided by public health officials and the Twin Cities In Motion medical directors. It was made with the safety of participants, volunteers, spectators, and the community at large foremost in mind."

Participants were set to receive participation medals and a shirt as well as a partial credit to be applied to future races.

The Red, White and Boom! half marathon weekend, Medtronic TC 1-mile and Twin Cities Orthopedics' Women Run the Cities events were also set to go online, according to a release from Twin Cities in Motion.

Health officials on Tuesday also reported that 339 people were hospitalized due to COVID-19 and 158 were in intensive care units fighting the illness. The nine individuals who died from the illness ranged in age from one person in their 50s to two in their 90s. They resided in Dakota, Goodhue, Hennepin, Ramsey and Wright counties. Six of the deceased lived in long-term care facilities while three were in private residences.

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