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Philadelphia's St. Patrick's Day Parade Canceled Due To Coronavirus Concerns, Organizers Say

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Parade officials have decided to cancel this weekend's St. Patrick's Day Parade due to coronavirus concerns. The announcement comes after Philadelphia city officials recommended that people not attend public gatherings that would have more than 5,000 people.

Officials say their main goal is to limit the spread of the virus.

"We're not canceling those gatherings but we're recommending that people not attend those public gatherings. This is especially important for people who are vulnerable to this infection, that will be the elderly and people with chronic illnesses," Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas  Farley said.

The Philadelphia St. Patrick's Day Observance Association issued a statement about the cancelation Tuesday night.

"After heartfelt consideration and serious conversation with officials from the City of Philadelphia, the St. Patrick's Day Observance Association has decided to cancel the parade and all events related to the 2020 Philadelphia Saint Patrick's Day Parade. This decision was made with significant input from civic and parade participants. While this decision is disappointing, we acted with a general concern for the well-being of everyone. In days to come, we will continue with great enthusiasm to plan the 250th Saint Patrick's Day Parade on March 14, 2021 celebrating Saint Patrick, our Grand Marshal Michael J. Bradley, Jr., and the distinguished members of the Ring of Honor."

Philadelphia officials announced the city's first confirmed coronavirus case Tuesday.

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