MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - The ripple impact of the coronavirus pandemic is being felt in the Twin Cities as officials have cancelled St. Patrick's Day parades in St. Paul and Minneapolis.
Officials from both parade associations announced the cancellations Thursday afternoon, as governments take steps to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Marchers take part in the 2019 St. Patrick's Day Parade in Minneapolis. The 2020 parade won't go on, officials announced Thursday. (FOX 9)
In a statement, the St. Patrick's Association of St. Paul said the decision to cancel yearly parade came after meetings with city officials, public health leaders, and local business owners to discuss the parade.
"After carefully monitoring the situation throughout the week regarding COVID-19 and working with these officials, we have made the heartbreaking decision to cancel the 2020 St. Patrick’s Day Parade of St. Paul," said parade officials. "We take the health and safety of our members, volunteers, participants, spectators, and community very seriously. This would have been our 54th year celebrating, and we did not make this decision lightly."
Parade officials say city leaders in St. Paul are strongly recommending all gatherings including 250 people or more be cancelled or postponed for the time being.
Minnesota public health officials are expected to speak Friday on further community mitigation plans to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.