Citing the health and safety of student-athletes as the overriding concern, the Great Northwest Athletic Conference CEO Board unanimously voted Friday to suspend all intercollegiate athletics competition through Nov. 30 due to COVID-19.

The CEO Board will continue to monitor developments related to the pandemic and make a decision by Oct. 15 regarding the status of competition after Nov. 30.

The announcement, which affects all 17 sports sponsored by the GNAC, prevents contests of any kind against outside competition regardless of whether a sport is in the championship or non-championship segment of its playing calendar.

Organized practice activities will be left to the universities’ discretion, according to the CEO Board.

“This was not a decision taken lightly but one the Board believes is in the best interests of student-athletes and staff,” GNAC Commissioner Dave Haglund said in the news release. “There is no greater priority than the health and well-being of our student-athletes and this action is reflective of the GNAC’s commitment to this prevailing principle.  We understand that many student-athletes will be disappointed and saddened by this news, particularly our seniors, and we have profound empathy for everyone affected by this decision, including non-conference opponents. We can only ask for their thoughtful understanding during these challenging and unprecedented times.”

Conference members include four schools from Washington state: Seattle Pacific University, Central Washington, St. Martin’s and Western Washington universities.

Other conference members are Alaska Anchorage and Alaska Fairbanks, Western Oregon, Northwest Nazarene in Idaho, Montana State Billings and Simon Fraser in British Columbia, Canada.