PAINESVILLE TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Although COVID-19 vaccinations are on the rise and many indicators are improving, the pandemic has canceled one of Northeast Ohio's biggest traditions: St. Patrick's Day parades. But residents in Painesville Township came together Sunday to safely celebrate all things Irish while promoting social distancing and mask wearing.
Organizers checked in with the Lake County Health Department to make sure social distancing and masking wearing was a priority.
"It's an outside event so we feel it's a safe event," Josh Pennock, Painesville Township trustee.
The head of the Summit County Health Department Donna Skoda said social distancing, mask-wearing and hosting it outdoors are ways to keep an event safe without it becoming a super spreader event.
"The worst thing you could do is go into a loud crowded bar where people are talking loudly without masks. If one person in that bar is ill, it will become a super spreader event," said Donna Skoda, of the health department.
Skoda said while the number of new coronavirus cases may be down, those numbers aren't where they need to be to gather indoors without a mask. She said before things can go back to pre-pandemic, more vaccinations need to happen.
"I understand how tired everyone is of living this very odd life," she said.
Until then, safe St. Patrick's Day celebrations now mean getting back to all the beloved holiday traditions sooner.
"It was an event that hopefully starts back to normal," said Pennock.
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