NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -- Due to growing concern about the potential spread of COVID-19, the New Haven St. Patrick’s Day parade has been postponed.
Mayor Justin Elicker and city health officials made the announcement on Monday afternoon.
The parade, which brings in thousands of spectators, was set for Sunday. It has been postponed until further notice.
City officials said it was a big decision, and wasn't made lightly.
“I was just on the phone with one of the organizers, it's not just the folks looking forward to the enjoyment of the event, but it's an impact on businesses, those things we take very very seriously," Mayor Justin Elicker said on Monday. "At the end of the day, there is going to be a much more significant impact on businesses if we don’t get our head around COVID-19, and we feel we made the right decision today in the interest of everyone’s safety."
The St. Patrick's Day parade in New Haven is the sixth oldest in the country, and one of the biggest in New Haven. In fact, in 2012 an estimated 325,000 spectators lined the street to celebrate.
The mayor said they're hoping to reschedule it in the future, they just don't know when it would be.
The city is also recommending that gatherings of more than 100 people be postponed until further notice.
“As a global city, we need to take every precaution possible to mitigate any chance of a COVID-19 case in New Haven,” stated New Haven Health Director Maritza Bond. “This is a serious and growing public health concern. I strongly urge all our residents to follow our Health Department guidelines and further guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).”
The City yesterday released the following precautions in preparation for a potential case of COVID-19 in New Haven:
• Please practice safe hygiene. Refrain from shaking hands with other people, wash your hands frequently and vigorously for at least 20 seconds, and not to touch your face.
• The elderly or those with chronic medical conditions are particularly impacted by COVID19 –please stay home as much as possible. Family members and friends of the elderly should please respect visitor policies at long-term care facilities.
• If you are sick, please stay home and do not go to work or school or to public gatherings.
• If you have flu-like symptoms and have interacted with someone known to have COVID19, please stay at home and immediately call your health care provider and then call the New Haven Health Department emergency line – 203-946-4949.
• If you are an employer, please pass along this message to your employees.
For more information on COVID-19, visit the CDC's website here.
Stay with Channel 3 for updates.