The St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Hartford will not take place this weekend and city officials will determine whether the parade, or another celebration, can be rescheduled for later this year. This comes amid concerns about coronavirus.
The parade was scheduled for Saturday, March 14.
"As you can imagine, we did not take this decision lightly. This was a decision that was made after significant consultation with public health officials, state officials and many others, and you've also seen that multiple jurisdictions have come to the same conclusion and made the same decision," Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said during a news conference Tuesday.
“The City will work with organizers to determine whether the parade or another celebration of Irish culture can be rescheduled for later this year,” a statement from the mayor’s office says.
City officials are also in the process of reviewing large events that are scheduled over the next month and there will likely be cancellations or modifications to a number of events around the city.
“After consulting with health officials and looking at the latest expert guidance, we will not hold the St. Patrick’s Day Parade this weekend,” Mayor Luke Bronin said in a statement. “Every year, this parade draws tens of thousands of people from the region to our Capital City, and we were looking forward to another busy weekend in Hartford. Our priority is public health, and we are listening to the public health experts and making this decision given the size, type, and timing of this event.”
“We have many other large events coming up, and we will likely have to cancel or modify many of them for at least the next month,” Bronin added. “We also want to remind everyone that the most effective things you can do to protect yourself are the simplest: wash your hands well, avoid handshakes, stay home if you’re sick, and pay attention to the news.”
Bronin said the city will follow the advice of public health experts.
"The bottom line is that it is a lot easier to be smart and aggressive early than it is to play catch-up on the back end and that's the approach that we are going to take," Bronin said.
The mayor said this will have a significant economic impact.
"There are bars and restaurants for whom parade day is one of the biggest days of the year, if not far and away the biggest day of the year, so there's no question that it has an impact," Bronin said.
"We're going to be exploring what has to be done to try and access that funding, but I don't have any of that information to share right now," Bronin added.
Residents who have concerns about any symptoms should call Hartford HealthCare’s hotline at 860-972-8100 to speak with a clinician.
The key symptoms of the coronavirus, according to the CDC are:
- Shortness of breath
Symptoms can appear in infected persons two to 14 days after exposure.
Coronavirus Prevention Steps
Steps for prevention from the CDC include:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
Steps to Self-Monitor for Coronavirus
Steps to self-monitor from the CDC include:
- Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
- Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school for this 14-day period. Discuss your work situation with your employer before returning to work.
- Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
- Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
- Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).
If you do get sick with a fever, cough or have trouble breathing, call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room and communicate with your doctor about your recent travel.
The CDC has a special website set up with details about the coronavirus, including how it spreads and treatment.
Anyone with questions relating to coronavirus can call 2-1-1 or text "CTVOID" to 898211. The 2-1-1 hotline is available 24 hours a day.
You can also visit the state's coronavirus information website here. Residents are encouraged to check the website for answers to questions before calling the hotline.