WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) -- The Scripps National Spelling Bee won't be held as scheduled this year because of the coronavirus.

Scripps informed The Associated Press of its decision Friday morning, citing recommendations against large gatherings by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the ongoing state of emergency in Maryland.

A 7th grader from St. John's Prep in Collegeville, Ben St. Hilaire, had qualified for the National Spelling Bee.  

The bee had been scheduled for the week of May 24 at a convention center in Oxon Hill, Maryland, just outside Washington.

Scripps said it would try to reschedule the bee for later this year but it did not commit to a new date. It's possible the bee won't be held at all.

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