SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) COVID-19 is impacting the second largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the country. It will not go on as scheduled this weekend.
The Scranton Parade Committee announced this afternoon that Saturday’s Saint Patrick’s Day parade is being postponed amid coronavirus concerns.
You can see the flags are up in celebration for the St. Patrick’s Day holiday next week, but there will be no parade here in Scranton this Saturday.
Mayor Paige Cognetti held a press conference this afternoon announcing postponing the Scranton St. Patrick’s Day parade to a later date amid coronavirus concerns.
The parade committee says there was never talk about canceling the postponed parade, saying they will have a half-way to St. Patrick’s Day parade in September if they have to.
Officials are hopeful it is only delayed a couple weeks, but are prepared for a couple of months.
Scranton police will still display a heavy presence throughout Saturday.
“We will still have the same zero tolerance for any type of criminal activity for the city with a much heavier police presence even though the parade isn’t going on,” said Chief Carl Graziano, Scranton Police Department.
“It’s important to note from a public safety perspective that mass gatherings have a potential to spread the virus throughout the community. There are no cases we are aware of in Lackawanna County right now. But, as we all know, those infected with COVID-19 can show no symptoms and still be highly contagious,” said Mayor Paige Cognetti.
“Scranton’s parade is one of the largest in the country and draws scores of visitors from far and wide and we simply want to avoid to exposing our community to the additional risk of having an event like this in our town,” said Tim Holmes, Scranton Parade Committee.
The city is very aware of the impact the delay of the parade will have on the business community.
They will, however, be working with businesses to put up signs to prevent any potential spread of COVID-19.
There will be no parking restrictions or road closures.
Health officials ask those feeling sick to stay home and not participate in other festivities that may be still happening this weekend.
They want to remind the public someone who is immunocompromised or elderly can die of this infection. They also ask the community to act responsibly and be sensible about spreading an illness, especially if you’ve recently been traveling out of the country.
WYOU will be re-airing the 2019 St. Patrick’s Parade this Saturday, March 14 between 12 pm and 3 pm.