The city of New Haven is postponing large gatherings, including the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day Parade, due to coronavirus concerns.
The mayor’s office announced Monday that all gatherings of more than 100 people will be postponed until further notice in response to the growing spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the U.S. Connecticut initially had one presumptive case of coronavirus – a man from Wilton who is receiving treatment at Danbury Hospital.
The governor's office confirmed the second case. More details were not immediately available.
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade, an event that draws thousands to the Elm City, was originally scheduled for Sunday. New Haven has been hosting this parade since the mid-1950s and it is one of the oldest in the nation.
The decision to cancel is in line with recommendations made by Gov. Ned Lamont.
“The St. Patrick’s Day Parade is one of New Haven’s important community and historical events, and it is with great disappointment that we need to postpone the event. Given the thousands of out of town visitors for the parade and the number of first-responders that are required to staff the parade, we have assessed that the risks of potential community spread—and significant impacts that would have on the region and our first responders—merit the decision to postpone the parade,” Mayor Justin Elicker wrote in a statement.
The city is evaluating meetings and gatherings on a rolling basis to decide how to handle each event. They are advising residents to take precautions including:
- 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.
The Hartford St. Patrick's Day Parade is also scheduled for this weekend. Organizers said right now there are no changes, but they have a meeting scheduled for Tuesday to discuss preparations.
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.