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Knoxville's St. Patrick's Day events, including the parade and Shamrock Fest, have been canceled

Public health officials say the risk of spreading the coronavirus are too great for large public events.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The organizers of the Knoxville's St. Patrick's Day celebrations are canceling the events planned this weekend in downtown Knoxville due to public safety concerns.

That includes the parade, Cel-O’Braughtion, and the Knox Shamrock Fest events that include the Lucky Kidney Run and Market Square concerts & festivities.

The East Tennessee Kidney Foundation announced sponsors the Shamrock Fest.

"The risk has become too great," says Executive Director, Katie Martin. "We are a nonprofit health organization; our priority is the health and safety of our community, especially high-risk populations such as dialysis patients and those with chronic kidney disease."

Based on CDC guidelines, organizations are cautioning people in at-risk groups, including older adults and those with chronic medical issues, against attending any large gatherings or events until the coronavirus' spread has subsided. 

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