TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The National Hockey League announced Thursday it’s “pausing” the 2019-2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“In light of ongoing developments resulting from the coronavirus, and after consulting with medical experts and convening a conference call of the Board of Governors, the National Hockey League is announcing today that it will pause the 2019-2020 season beginning with (Thursday night’s) games,” league officials said in a statement.

The league’s announcement comes after other leagues, like the NBA and MLS, postponed their seasons due to the outbreak.

“The NHL has been attempting to follow the mandates of health experts and local authorities while preparing for any possible developments without taking premature or unnecessary measures,” the league said. “However, following last night’s news that an NBA player has tested positive for coronavirus – and given that our leagues share so many facilities and locker rooms and it now seems likely that some member of the NHL community would test positive at some point – it is no longer appropriate to try to continue to play games at this time.”

The Tampa Bay Lightning organization released a statement shortly after the decision was made:

“This is obviously a tough and disappointing decision for everyone, but one that is appropriate to prioritize the safety of our fans, partners, players and staff. The team will continue to work in consultation with the NHL, as well as with city and county representatives, to monitor the situation moving forward.”