Chicago Postpones St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations Indefinitely Due to Coronavirus Outbreak

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The annual downtown Chicago St. Patrick’s Day parade, Chicago river dyeing, and parades on the city’s Northwest and Southside have been postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus outbreak in the state. 

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the decision in a press conference Wednesday to postpone the festivities which were scheduled for Mar. 14 and 15, and typically draw millions of people to the city.

“Like cities across the nation, we concluded that having a parade at this time poses an unnecessary risk to the public’s health,” Lightfoot said in the conference.

Lightfoot said the close proximity parade-goers are in limits their ability for “social distancing,” a precaution recommended by the Center for Disease Control as the country responds to the outbreak. 

There is potential for the celebration to be held at a later date, Lightfoot said. 

“We will work with the organizers to find possible days for rescheduling as appropriate,” Lightfoot said. 

Illinois currently has 19 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by coronavirus — eight of those cases were just confirmed yesterday, March 10, The Phoenix reported

Loyola sophomore Sebastian Chamizo thought the mayor made the right call in postponing the parade. He said he wasn’t planning on attending anyway due to his own concerns about the virus.

“I didn’t really want to risk it because let’s say they do cancel classes or put classes online, like I don’t want to go home and risk having it,” Chamizo said.

Loyola has been preparing for the possibility of making online class mandatory university-wide, as some professors have already made the switch, The Phoenix reported

Kaitlynn Sakich, a freshman studying finance, said she didn’t think the city needed to cancel the parade.

“Personally, I don’t think it’s necessary to cancel it yet, I don’t think cases are at a level where it’s critical,” Sakich, 19, said. “I have a lot of friends that this is an event they look forward to every year.”

Finnegan Mccue, a sophomore studying mathematics, is from the Chicago suburbs and said he has attended the parade for years — he was planning on going again until it was canceled, despite his own fears about contracting COVID-19.

“I’ve been thinking about it, like do I even want to leave the crib?” Mccue, 19, said. “Why would I want to make contact with random people.”

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