coronavirus concerns

19 Coronavirus Cases in Boston, Mayor Says to ‘Prepare for the Inevitable’

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Boston health officials confirmed Tuesday that there are now 19 presumptive and confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the city and urged residents to "prepare for the inevitable."

Eighteen of those cases are presumptive, Boston Public Health announced Tuesday night. One is confirmed — a student from UMass Boston who had recently visited Wuhan, China. He remains self-quarantined.

Speaking a day after canceling the Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade, Mayor Marty Walsh said it's too soon to say if the April 20 Boston Marathon could be in jeopardy as well.

CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield, M.D., testified in front of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies to discuss the response to the coronavirus in the United States.

"I think this is going to be a very fluid situation," he said. "Day by day it's going to change."

Walsh said the city is preparing for things to get worse, noting that the number of coronavirus cases in New York increased rapidly in a short period of time.

"We're preparing for unfortunately might be the inevitable," he said. "I want Bostonians not to be fearful, but to be cautious."

Out of an abundance of caution due to the coronavirus, Harvard University is moving classes online and having students not return to campus after spring break.

Earlier Tuesday, Massachusetts health officials said there were 92 cases in the Bay State. That is up from 41 cases Monday, a figure that rose from 28 just one day earlier.

Seventy of those cases are associated with a conference held by the biotech company Biogen from Feb. 24 to 27 at the Marriott Long Wharf in Boston.

The governor cut short his family’s vacation in Utah when he flew home Monday, according to the Boston Globe.

Officials say the risk level of contracting the virus remains low.

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