Mayors and other representatives of Massachusetts municipalities Thursday called for a coordinated and "cohesive" response to the coronavirus outbreak that has sickened dozens across the state.
Their call came after a meeting of regional leaders including mayors on the state's response to COVID-19.
"We need to work together with partners at the state and governor's office," Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone said during a press conference in Somerville. "We are seeking their leadership and their determination and guidance to help us address many issues," including the potential of long-term school closures.
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Three of the state's presumptive cases are in Somerville, health officials said.
Curtatone added that the coronvirus is 10-times more potent than the flu and right now, without a vaccine available, social distancing is the best remedy.
"If we don't take bold steps now... we will be behind the eight ball and people's lives will be in jeopardy and our health care system will in jeopardy of collapsing," Curtatone said.
The remarks come after Somerville announced that schools, libraries and parks and recreation activities were all closed or canceled through Sunday after the board of health was informed of a third presumptive positive case of the virus.
Framingham Mayor Yvonne Spicer said municipalities must coordinate together.
"This is a statewide effort that needs to happen. We really need to be cohesive in our efforts," she said.
On Tuesday, Gov. Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency over the outbreak.
Schools across Massachusetts are canceling classes or moving to online-only education, more than 1,000 people have been put in quarantine in the state and companies are sending workers home to prevent the spread of coronavirus.