Local health officials: Plant Riverside St. Patrick’s Day event potential ‘superspreader’

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A popular Savannah entertainment district, Plant Riverside is no stranger to crowd-pleasing events. Their Shamrocks and Shenanigans Festival will run from March 12th through the 17th, and promises live music, Irish dance and food and drink.

The Coastal Health District’s Dr. Lawton Davis says it could deliver much more. “We could be setting ourselves up for what’s known as another ‘superspreader’ event,” he said.

In a news release sent to media this week, organizers encourage attendees to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Davis worries that the sheer number of festival-goers may not be conducive to following COVID-19 guidelines.

“We have high levels of ongoing community transmission,” Davis said. “We are looking a little better here recently, but if we bring in a huge influx of people, and aren’t careful in how we do that, we could be setting up our community for some pain in another week or two or three.”

Gov. Brian Kemp’s executive order, while calling for gatherings of 50 people or less, essentially allows private businesses to govern themselves on private property.

However, Savannah Mayor Van Johnson says the city won’t just sit back.

“The city of Savannah owns our riverfront,” Johnson said. “We will regulate our riverfront in accordance with the emergency mandates of our community.”

WSAV has reached out to The Kessler Collection, the company that operates the Plant Riverside District. They have not returned our messages.

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