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Newport St. Patrick’s Day parade may be delayed until fall

January 19, 2021 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Organizers of the Newport St. Patrick’s Day parade are looking at postponing this year’s event until September since it looks increasingly unlikely it can go on in March.

Dennis Sullivan, chair of the Newport St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee, told The Newport Daily News that the committee submitted a letter to the city on Tuesday suggesting a September date for the annual festivities.

“Whatever they say, we’re going to abide by,” he said of the City Council.

The parade is traditionally held the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day in March.

“I just don’t believe there’s any way that we could do this safely,” Mayor Jeanne Marie Napolitano said of holding the event in March. “We’re not going to have approvals for anything like this until the vaccination program is safe.”

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Last year’s parade was supposed to be the 64th annual before it was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Boston, Holyoke and Worcester, Massachusetts have canceled their 2021 St. Patrick’s Day parades.

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VIRUS BY THE NUMBERS

There have been more than 2,500 more confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 40 additional virus-related deaths over the past four days, the state Department of Health reported Tuesday.

There have now been more than 107,000 confirmed cases and 2,045 deaths in the state.

The department did not update its statistics over the holiday weekend.

There were more than 365 people in the state’s hospitals with the disease as of Sunday, the latest day for which the information was available, the lowest single-day total since Nov. 21.

The latest average seven-day positivity rate in Rhode Island is now almost 5.1%, down from 7.23% on Jan. 4. State health departments are calculating positivity rate differently across the country, but for Rhode Island the AP calculates the rate by dividing new cases by test encounters using data from The COVID Tracking Project.

The Department of Health also announced Tuesday that nearly 47,000 residents have received their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine and more than 11,000 have received their second dose.