Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade Canceled Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Mayor Marty Walsh says the annual South Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade has been called off

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The Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade has been canceled, city officials said Monday.

Mayor Marty Walsh's office said in a statement that the annual parade through the streets of South Boston would be called off "out of an abundance of caution" amid coronavirus concerns.

"While the risk in Boston remains low, this situation is changing very quickly and we are closely monitoring any local cases," Walsh said in the statement. "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."

Walsh's announcement came a short time after Massachusetts health officials said the number of cases in the state had increased from 28 to 41.

As of last week, 719 people have been subject to self-quarantine in Massachusetts because of COVID-19, officials said. Of those, 470 people have completed monitoring and are no longer quarantined, while 249 are currently quarantined.

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Boston Mayor Marty Walsh spoke with reporters Saturday to talk about what his office is doing to keep tabs on the coronavirus outbreak. This, as five new presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 were reported Saturday in Massachusetts.

Parade organizers said the decision was a difficult one to make.

"There will be those who will be very upset, and rightfully so, it is part of our tradition, part of our heritage but at the end of the day, we have to make sure that every single person that comes down to that parade on parade day is safe," Director of Parade Operations Bryan Bishop said.

He added that the parade is too large to reschedule.

In addition to the parade, the annual St. Patrick's Day breakfast has also been canceled, officials said.

On Tuesday, Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera also announced his city's St. Patrick's Day Parade scheduled for March 14 would be canceled.

There have been no confirmed cases yet in Essex County but the decision was made out of an abundance of caution, Rivera said in a statement.

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