coronavirus

Will Chicago's St. Patrick's Day Festivities Go On Despite Coronavirus?

As of Tuesday, no Chicago events had been canceled

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With Chicago at the center of an outbreak of coronavirus cases in Illinois, many are wondering what this will mean for St. Patrick's Day festivities in the city.

State officials have been urging people, particularly elderly residents, to avoid mass gatherings in the area and several other locations, including Boston and Dublin have canceled their events amid an outbreak.

As of Tuesday, no Chicago events had been canceled.

"The Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be going forward on Saturday, March 14, 2020 at noon on Columbus Drive," according to the Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade website. "We recommend that anyone who is sick or experiencing flu-like symptoms such as fever, coughing, shortness of breath or sneezing, NOT attend the event."

Sources with the South Side Irish Parade said a decision was expected by Friday.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker noted that decisions, as of now, will be made on a local level.

"The CDC is talking about avoid mass gatherings. They aren’t giving a number to what is a mass gathering and I think that’s not helpful, frankly, and in a number of ways the federal government has not been helpful, but we are in conversations about what to do," Pritzker said. "Chicago is not the only place that has large gatherings around St. Patrick’s Day."

NBC 5 brought in medical experts to answer your top questions about coronavirus, or COVID-19.

Eight additional coronavirus cases were confirmed in Illinois Tuesday, bringing the state's total to 19, Pritzker announced.

Two of the eight cases were in Chicago, along with at least 11 others.

Further information on the newest cases, including how they may have developed the virus, was not released.

Officials focused on urging older adults in the area to limit their movements in the community and avoid large gatherings.

Several medical professionals joined NBC 5’s Marion Brooks Friday to answer viewers’ questions about the coronavirus outbreak.

"The State of Illinois continues to take action to reduce spread of COVID-19 in Illinois and we again want to encourage people to start thinking and preparing now in the event they are not able to go to work, if schools are closed, if public transportation is not available, and how else their lives will be disrupted by this outbreak," Ezike said.

Pritzker, who on Monday declared a disaster proclamation in the state, said he has demanded the state receiving more testing kits as soon as possible.

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