Wednesday, March 11, 2020
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A large Mississippi parade has been cancelled in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Hal's St. Paddy's Parade and Festival in Jackson, Mississippi, has been cancelled because of concerns about the disease, spread by the coronavirus, parade co-founder Malcolm White told local news outlets Wednesday. The St. Patrick's parade in downtown Jackson had been set this year for March 28. It typically draws thousands of boozy revelers from all over Mississippi and beyond.
White said organizers made the decision following advice from Mississippi's state Health Department.
"The public safety and well-being is more important than the parade," White told the Clarion Ledger. The event is named after his late brother, Hal White. The two founded a landmark downtown restaurant, Hal ‘n Mal’s.
Mississippi has no confirmed cases of the virus, although some Mississippi residents in the state's northwest corner are on home quarantine after possible exposure to a case in nearby Memphis, Tennessee.
Many other cities, including New Orleans, Chicago and Boston have also scrapped St. Patrick's Day processions. Officials in Savannah, Georgia, are supposed to discuss the status of that city's parade on Thursday.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover from the new virus.
The cancellations come as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases climbs. In the U.S., the total has topped 1,000.
Read more stories at jacksonfreepress.com/coronavirus.