Chicago made the call on Wednesday to cancel the upcoming and hugely popular St. Patrick’s Day parade and greening of the Chicago river to “stop the spread” of the coronavirus. The announcement said it would be postponed, but no future date was set:
Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, Governor JB Pritzker, and officials from the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC)today announced the City will postpone this weekend’s St. Patrick’s Day parades as a precautionary measure to prevent further spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The City will continue working with organizers from Chicago’s downtown, South Side, and Northwest Side parades, as well as the annual Dyeing of the Chicago River to reschedule these events to a later date and ensure the health and safety of Chicago’s residents and visitors.
The governor of Illinois also issued a statement.
We all know what the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations mean to us in the city of Chicago — but as elected leaders, we can’t take any chances with the health of our residents…Because of what we’ve seen nationally and across the world of the increased risk of large gatherings, this was the right call and I thank Mayor Lightfoot for her leadership in this difficult situation. Now that we’ve reached the stage where we’re seeing regular new cases—reflecting additional spread within our communities—we have to make every effort to minimize further spread.
This cancelation comes on the heels of the president suspending travel to all of Europe, except the UK, and the NBA canceling the rest of the season. According to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker, the United States has currently has 1323 cases confirmed and 38 deaths.
Megan Fox is the author of “Believe Evidence; The Death of Due Process from Salome to #MeToo,” and host of The Fringe podcast. Follow on Twitter @MeganFoxWriter