Washington Gov. Jay Inslee bans large gatherings in Seattle area, including sporting events

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday announced a ban on gatherings and events of more than 250 people in virtually the entire Seattle metro area to try to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The ban includes sporting events and concerts.

The Seattle Dragons' home game against the Los Angeles Wildcats at CenturyLink Field on Sunday will be played without fans in the venue, the XFL announced. The Seattle Mariners, who were scheduled to open their MLB season at home against the Texas Rangers on March 26, will move home games from Seattle through the end of March. The Seattle Sounders of MLS have postponed their home game against Dallas, which had been scheduled for March 21.

It wasn't immediately clear how long the governor's order would last or if it would extend to other parts of the state. Spokane was scheduled to host the first and second rounds of the 2020 NCAA men's basketball tournament on March 19 and March 21.

At least 24 people in Washington have died from the coronavirus, most of them in the Seattle metro area.

In late February, Inslee declared a state of emergency over the virus outbreak. There are more than 260 confirmed cases in the state, most of them in the King, Pierce and Snohomish counties that would be affected by Inslee's order.