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.
“Currently the risk now exceeds the benefit for proceeding with this parade and in conjunction with the mayor and county executive, the decision has been made to suspend the parade for now,” Mendoza said in the press conference on Thursday. “Any gathering greater than 50 is one we ought to reconsider.”
“This is the best way to deal with the issue to not have the parade on Saturday,” Mayor Lovely Warren said. “We are going to work with and talk to the organizers. At this time we don’t know if it will be rescheduled.”
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.
News 8 will continue to monitor the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak in our area. Stay with us for updates as they break. For more details on the COVID-19 coronavirus, see here.