The New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been postponed for the first time in its 258-year history because of coronavirus concerns, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday. Cuomo said while the risk of transmission might be lower in an outdoor gathering, health experts had urged him to call it off, the AP reports. He said he spoke to organizers, who agreed it should be postponed "due to the high density and the large volume of marchers and spectators who attend." "While I know the parade organizers did not make this decision lightly, public health experts agree that one of the most effective ways to contain the spread of the virus is to limit large gatherings and close contacts, and I applaud the parade's leadership for working cooperatively with us," Cuomo said.
Earlier Wednesday, organizers had denied reports that the parade had been canceled. The governor's statement did not say when this year's parade will take place, if at all. But Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted late in the night that the parade will go on, "whether it’s in the heat of summer or on a clear fall day." He added, "I know this decision didn’t come easy, so I’ll make this promise: this is a postponement, not a cancellation." The postponement of the March 17 parade adds to the roster of events and holidays upended around the world by the spreading infection. Chicago, Boston, and even the Irish capital of Dublin have cancelled St. Patrick's Day parades. The New York City metropolitan area has been home to one of the largest outbreaks in the US, with many cases linked to one community in the suburb of New Rochelle.
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