CHICAGO (CBS) — The city is of Chicago postponing its major St. Patrick’s Day events, to avoid the possible spread of coronavirus.
It means three parades and the dyeing of the Chicago River won’t take place.
CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole has a look at how the city reached its decision.
This decision means no South Side, downtown, or northwest side St. Patrick’s Day parades. So many people in close contact in the age of coronavirus prompted the decision.
With over 400 performances, this is the season for the Trinity Irish Dancers.
“They have trained so hard for this. They’ve been in practices since December,” said Michaela Donohue of the Trinity Irish Dancers.
But now because of the coronavirus cancellations, they won’t be stepping off at the city’s three parades.
“The days ahead are looking a little iffy,” Donohue said.
Instructors are keeping a close watch on headlines as they decide whether to go ahead with scheduled performances.
“As of now we are not initiating any cancellations as long as the venue is not cancelling,” Donohue said. “We are leaving it up to our families to do what they feel is best for their family.”
Celebrations are still on track for the Irish American Heritage Center on the northwest side.
“The situation is fluid,” said Meg Buchanon of the Irish American Heritage Center. This year, it hired professional janitors and is spreading events out in their building to reduce close contact. Managers admit crowds may not be the typical 2,000 plus.
“Everyone in Chicago and in Illinois to stay home if you are sick,” said Doctor Allison Arwady from the Chicago Department of Public Health.
In announcing cancellations, the city explained keeping over a million people the recommended six feet apart was impossible. Its call for the sick and at-risk to avoid crowds seemed more urgent.
“Avoid large gatherings like the St. Patrick’s Day events,” she added.
For now, the dancers are preparing for their abbreviated shows to go on. Irish eyes smiling in an uncertain time.