Keystone State Games, Pennsylvania Senior Games are latest coronavirus casualties

Fencers compete in the 2017 Keystone State Games at the York Expo Center. The 2020 Keystone State Games and the Pennsylvania Senior Games, both set for Luzerne County, have been canceled, at least for now. There's a possibility the events could be rescheduled for the fall.  John A. Pavoncello photo

The Keystone State Games and the Pennsylvania Senior Games are the latest events to be canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic — for now, at least.

Both summer events, which comprise a wide array of competitions for participants of all ages, were originally scheduled to be held in Luzerne County from July 22 through Aug. 2.

Both events move around the state periodically and both have been held in York County in the past. Numerous York County residents typically compete in the events.

Though there was hope they could go on as planned, James Costello, executive director of the Keystone State Games, announced the games’ cancellation in a news release Wednesday, while leaving the door open for a possible return in the fall.

Costello stated in the release that the “current state mandates and social-gathering recommendations surrounding COVID-19” prompted the move. 

“Our priority is the safety and well-being of our game participants, spectators and volunteers, and we believe this is the best decision,” Costello continued in the release.

Up until Wednesday, the Keystone State Games appeared optimistic everything could go on as planned. An update to Facebook in March stated that the games were scheduled for the summer months so, while the organization was monitoring current events, no alterations had been made to its schedule yet.

This was supposed to be the third consecutive year the Keystone State Games were to be held in Luzerne County.

Costello appears hopeful that the games can go on in some fashion later this year. He wrote in an email that his organization is “working very closely with the Department of Aging and Department of Health in PA to get a ‘green light’ to run events in the fall.”