the coronavirus crisis
St. Patrick's Day will feel a little different in Boston this year, as the city's annual parade has been canceled.
There are 41 cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Massachusetts, and Mayor Martin Walsh announced on Monday that the decision to cancel next Sunday's parade was made "out of an abundance of caution to ensure that we are doing what is needed to keep the residents of Boston safe and healthy." More than one million people were expected to line the 3.5-mile parade route.
Walsh said he chose to cancel the parade after speaking to local and federal lawmakers, as well as the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council, the group that organizes the parade. While the risk in Boston remains "low," he said, the situation is changing "very quickly and we are closely monitoring any local cases. Our top priority is preventing any new cases, to the best of our ability, and we are paying close attention to guidance from public health officials."
The St. Patrick's Day parade in Dublin, Ireland, has also been canceled over coronavirus concerns, but New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters on Monday his city's celebration is scheduled to go on. "We do not have a plan to cancel the parade at this point," he said. "We're going to watch that day to day, hour to hour."