ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — After a week of frantic event cancellations among COVID-19 coronavirus panic, the City of Rochester and Monroe County are following suit: the 2020 Rochester St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been suspended.

The cancellation comes as a result of Monroe County’s first confirmed case of the COVID-19 coronavirus, which was announced in a press release from Monroe County Executive Adam Bello and Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza on Wednesday night.

“The decision has been made to suspend the parade for now,” Mendoza said in the press conference on Thursday.

“This is the best way to deal with the issue to not have the parade on Saturday,” Mayor Lovely Warren said.

Prior to the announcement that a case of COVID-19 coronavirus was present in Monroe County, area colleges were already announcing closures and restrictions following Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision to move all SUNY and CUNY colleges to “distance learning” beginning March 19. Responses to the virus outbreak were not limited to SUNY and CUNY schools; the University of Rochester also announced Wednesday that it would be moving to online classes.

Rochester is far from the first city to cancel St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in light of the virus outbreak. Governor Cuomo announced in a press conference Wednesday that the New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade would be “postponed” for the first time in 258 years due to virus concerns. Chicago and Boston both cancelled their respective celebrations, and even Dublin, Ireland announced its parade festivities would all be cancelled.


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The status of the Tops Rochester St. Patrick’s Day Parade is in doubt as public events across the country are being canceled due to concerns over the spread of he COVID-19 coronavirus disease.

The parade is set for this Saturday, March 14 in Rochester — beginning at the intersection of East and Alexander Streets at 12:30 p.m. Whether it goes off as planned remains unclear.

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Parade Board Member Mark Dowdell discussed the pending decision Tuesday during News 8 at Noon. “At this point, we’re planning to have the parade as normal,” he said.

Dowdell said any decision to cancel the parade would be made with guidance from Governor Andrew Cuomo, Monroe County Executive Adam Bello, and Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren. He added, the safety of those along the parade route and those participating in the parade is the top priority.

When asked about the possibility of upstate cities like Rochester canceling their parades, Governor Cuomo said Tuesday the decision should be calibrated to the places where the outbreak is happening. There are currently no confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Rochester region.

For more information about this year’s parade, visit RochesterParade.com. There’s also a new Rochester Parade app.