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Update – Newport’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade canceled amid coronavirus disease concerns

Update – Governor Raimondo, RIDOH to provide guidance this afternoon concerning St. Patrick’s Day Parades and other large, organized events

Update – City Of Newport: Council expected to vote to cancel Newport’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade

The following was written/provided by Tom Shevlin, Communications Officer for the City of Newport.

Newport’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade is set to step off from City Hall on Saturday, March 14th as scheduled with public officials taking extra precautions to guard against the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

City Council members convened on Tuesday afternoon to affirm the Newport St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee’s permit to host the annual celebration, however urged attendees to be vigilant in helping to stop the spread of germs, and to stay home if they possess any underlying health concerns or have had any contact with individuals experiencing flu-like or respiratory symptoms.

In addition to the parade, the City’s family-friendly St. Patrick’s Day celebration at The Martin Recreation Center, or The Hut, will also proceed as planned. Parents and families are urged to pay attention to potential symptoms associated with the flu and stay home if they’ve been in contact with anyone from  areas with community transmission of COVID-19 or close contact with a person confirmed to have COVID-19. 

While the risk to Newport remains low, in light of the rapidly evolving situation and out of deference to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on mass gathering events, City officials continue to stress the need to remain vigilant in helping to stop the spread of the virus.

As a City, our top priority is providing for a safe and healthy place to live, work and play, and we will continue to closely monitor the situation and will be taking extra steps on parade day to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We’re also encouraging all Newport residents to follow preventative measures to avoid illness, such as washing hands frequently, staying home if you are feeling sick, and sanitizing surfaces such as door handles and countertops with regular household cleaners and wipes.

Individuals with underlying health conditions, or who have regular interactions with at-risk populations such as the elderly or hospitalized are also strongly encouraged to forego this year’s festivities.

Under State law, the Rhode Island Department of Health serves as the lead agency for responding to all public health emergencies, and we are committed to doing our part to ensure that the State’s response is as effective as possible.

We thank you for your understanding, and would like to offer our deepest appreciation to all of those who volunteer throughout the year to organize Newport’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

More information about the City’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak can be found online

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