Boston cancels St. Patrick's Day parade amid coronavirus concerns

Boston cancels St. Patrick's Day parade amid coronavirus concerns
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Boston on Monday announced the cancellation of its annual St. Patrick’s Day parade over rising fears about the coronavirus outbreak.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh (D) said he worked with state and city officials to make the decision to cancel the parade, which had been scheduled for Sunday.

“This decision is being 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,” Walsh said in a statement on Twitter. 

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“While the risk in Boston remains low, this situation is changing very quickly, and we are closely monitoring any local cases,” he continued. “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 announcement followed state officials reporting an increase in cases in Massachusetts from 28 to 41.

Across the country, officials are contemplating canceling events expected to garner large crowds that could allow for the coronavirus to spread. Events like the South by Southwest festival, which saw 73,716 attendees last year, have been called off due to worries about the virus.

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Rep. Jackie SpeierKaren (Jackie) Lorraine Jacqueline SpeierFive factors influencing when the House returns Victim advocacy groups, Democratic lawmakers slam new campus sexual assault policies Parties divided over health risks to reopening Capitol MORE (D-Calif.) has requested the 2020 presidential candidates end all large events until “we know the extent of the community spread of the coronavirus.”

But the Democratic National Committee announced it plans to proceed with the primary debate in Phoenix scheduled for Sunday. 

Rep. Joe KennedyJoseph (Joe) Patrick KennedyMental health crisis puts everyone on the front lines The Hill's Campaign Report: Flynn 'unmasking' enters 2020 debate Candidates shift to volunteering as pandemic halts campaigning MORE III (D-Mass.) led a discussion on the coronavirus and community health centers last week with state and local leaders in the Boston area. He encouraged congressional leadership to include emergency funding for these health centers in any package passed in Congress to fight the virus, according to CBS Boston

“Regardless of who you are you should get the treatment that you need here in this country in the midst of a pandemic, not just because it’s the right thing to do, because it is, but because it will stop the spread of the disease,” said Kennedy, who is running for Senate in Massachusetts.

The coronavirus has infected more than 600 people across at least 36 states, killing 22 people in the U.S., according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.