Over 250 in Coronavirus Self Quarantine in Mass., Baker Urges Schools to Cancel Trips Abroad

Nearly 720 people in Massachusetts have entered self-quarantine, with more than half completing the 14-day isolation, health officials said

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Gov. Charlie Baker asked Massachusetts high schools and universities to cancel upcoming study abroad trips as a precaution against spreading coronavirus.

Baker made that announcement Wednesday morning in a news conference.

California reported its first death from coronavirus Wednesday as health officials continued dealing with the threat from the outbreak.

With the large amount of students based in Boston, Baker said that he hopes taking this precaution will decrease the possibility of spreading the illness.

"We think that that is prudent given the nature of that virus," said Marylou Sudders, the state health secretary.

A group of students and staff in Tewksbury are the latest locals affected, as those on a school trip to Europe shared a flight with a passenger who is presumed to have coronavirus.

School officials say the people who were on board are self-quarantining until Saturday and not returning to school until Monday.

Baker said it is too early to say if the Boston Marathon or Boston's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade should be canceled due to the coronavirus. He said more information needs to come in before any determination can be made on those events.

As the number of coronavirus cases rise, so do concerns from travelers.

The first novel coronavirus case in the state was confirmed on Feb. 1, when a UMass Boston student returning from Wuhaun tested positive.

Tuesday, a Massachusetts woman tested positive for the illness after returning from a school trip to Italy, in which two Rhode Island residents have already tested positive for the illness.

Sudders said that 719 people in the state quarantined themselves as a precaution. Of those people, 470 have completed the 14 day period. Another 259 are currently undergoing monitoring.

The scare of the virus has already caused Seafood Expo North America to postpone its convention in Boston. There are now more than 125 confirmed or presumptive cases of coronavirus in the U.S., with some new reports in New England.

"If you are sick, stay home," Baker said.

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