ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — As cities across the country and even portions of Ireland are canceling their Saint Patrick’s Day parades due to coronavirus concerns, Albany’s is still a go.
At a press conference at City Hall on Wednesday, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said they’ve been closely reviewing the CDC’s guidelines on mass gatherings. She said she has also been consulting with the county health department, and as of right now, she said they believe it is safe for them to go ahead with the annual parade.
“We have not revoked the permit for the parade that was issued to the St. Patrick’s Day Committee for the upcoming parade at this time,” said Sheehan.
Sheehan and Albany County Executive Dan McCoy said there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Albany County. Across the county, however, there are five people under mandatory quarantine and 20 under precautionary quarantine.
“Right now, there’s no reason to put the red light on. We’re going to continue to go forward, but if something changes, and it could change up to two minutes before the parade kicks off, and we’ll have to make that decision,” said McCoy. “We don’t want people to panic. We want people to continue on with their lives, continue to go out, but do it in a safe manner.”
Sheehan said if you are ill, elderly, or if you have a compromised immune system, you should sit this one out.
“I want to stress that parade attendance is not compulsory, even if you’re Irish. I know from time-to-time, coming from a very stubborn Irish mother, we can be stubborn,” said the mayor.
The mayor is also asking for cooperation from local businesses when it comes to crowd control.
“Sticking to crowd numbers, we know that on St. Patrick’s Day things tend to swell and a lot of people are out, and so we are very strongly focused on making sure capacity is not exceeded in restaurants, bars, and other locations,” she said.
The mayor said this is a fluid situation, so while the parade is still on for now, that could change in the coming days.
“We are dedicated to ensuring that we have a safe family friendly environment on March 14,” she said.
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