▶ Watch Video: Garth Brooks reflects on career ahead of Kennedy Center Honors

Country music star Garth Brook announced he has canceled upcoming tour dates as the number of COVID-19 Delta infections continues to rise across the United States. 

After restarting his tour last month, Brooks was going to perform in Cincinnati on September 18, Charlotte on September 25, Baltimore on October 2, Foxborough on October 9 and Nashville. The latter had not been rescheduled yet after raining out in July. 

“In July, I sincerely thought the pandemic was falling behind us. Now, watching this new wave, I realize we are still in the fight and I must do my part,” Brooks said in a statement included in a release. 

“So, it is with a heavy heart we announce the decision to cancel all 5 shows but with a hopeful heart, we will reschedule and start over when this wave seems to be behind us” he added. 

According to the release, approximately 350,000 tickets will be refunded and new concert dates will be rescheduled in 2022. 

A spokesperson for the tour said the team will continue to monitor the virus’ impact and watch how schools, sports and other entertainment venues are handling this phase of the pandemic. 

Brooks, who was recently awarded with a Kennedy Center Honor, said he hopes he will be back on tour before the end of the year, but wants the experience to be as safe as possible. 

“The joy I have seen in everyone’s faces as live music returns has been more than worth our constant diligence to maintain safety protocols not only for the fans, but for our band, the crew and the hard working staff in these stadiums,” Brooks said. “Their dedication to safety for the people who fill those seats has been a miracle to watch and a blessing to receive. I am truly grateful.”

Like Brooks is the latest among many artists who have canceled dates or taken steps to keep fans safe amid a rise in COVID-19 cases. Stevie Nicks announced earlier in August that she is cancelling her remaining 2021 performance dates Grammy-winner Jason Isbell told “CBS This Morning” that he is requiring everyone who goes to his concerts to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.