The annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York City has officially been canceled, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.
The statement said the governor had discussed the issue with the parade organizers, as coronavirus cases and anxieties ramp up in the city and state.
"Following those conversations, I recommended and the parade's leadership agreed to postpone this year's parade due to the high density and the large volume of marchers and spectators who attend," said Cuomo in the statement.
"While I know the parade organizers did not make this decision lightly, public health experts agree that one of the most effective ways to contain the spread of the virus is to limit large gatherings and close contacts, and I applaud the parade's leadership for working cooperatively with us."
The parade was originally set to take place on March 17.
New York now has 216 cases -- the second highest number of any state. Washington is the hardest-hit US state, with 373 cases and 30 deaths, and California follows New York, with 133 cases and four deaths, according to CNN's tally.