Boston coronavirus

Mayor Says Highest Percentage of Coronavirus Cases in Boston Under Age 40

Mayor Marty Walsh also spoke about Patriots Day on Monday, urging people not to run the marathon route

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Boston Mayor Marty Walsh warned Friday that the coronavirus isn't just affecting older residents, as people under 40 make up the highest percentage of positive cases in the city.

"Every single person is at risk for getting ill or passing on the virus," he said, urging people to continue practicing social distancing.

"We're at a critical period of time and our numbers continue to surge, and they're not expected to peak until the end of the month," Walsh said. "Every single day counts to flatten the curve and conserve medical resources."

The mayor said the city will have seven sound trucks going around the city this weekend to help spread the stay-at-home message in multiple languages. Phone banks and literature drops are also planned.

Walsh also spoke about Patriots Day on Monday, which would have been Marathon Monday as well if the Boston Marathon hadn't been postponed until Sept. 14 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

For the first time ever, Marathon Monday will not be in the spring, but in the fall.

He urged residents not to run the marathon route on Monday, as it will be putting people at risk.

"I'm asking you, please do not run the marathon route. That's not a smart thing to do, that's not a safe thing to do, and you're certainly not setting a good example by doing that. If you have an idea, you can be certain hundreds of others have the same idea. Save your energy until Sept. 14."

Walsh said he considers everyone who runs the marathon is a champion, but anyone running the marathon route on Monday is anything but.

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"You're actually not helping us. You're putting people at risk," he said. "It's not a great accomplishment, you're not going to be celebrated for it, nobody's going to be clapping for you."

Walsh was also asked Friday if he is planning to cancel the school year, but he said that will ultimately be the governor's call, and he expects a decision in the next few days.

Walsh said Boston was expanding testing for COVID-19 in hard-hit areas to address inequities exposed by the pandemic during his last update on Wednesday. 

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The mayor added that the city had enough confirmed cases to start disclosing racial and ethnic data without exposing private information.

"It's important that we share these numbers so we can get messaging to the communities," he said.

In addition to expanded testing, Walsh said his administration would increase its outreach efforts to hard-hit communities.

Seven years after the marathon bombings rocked Boston, bells rang to mark the anniversary on the annual day of service.

There were 4,763 cases of COVID-19 in Boston as of Thursday, Walsh said, including 122 deaths.

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