Another major event has been canceled due to concerns surrounding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Boston’s mayor, Martin J. Walsh, announced Monday that the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade has been canceled out of an “abundance of caution.”
The parade had been scheduled to take place on Sunday, March 15.
The decision to cancel the event was made “out of an abundance of caution to ensure that we are doing what is needed to keep the residents of Boston safe and healthy,” Walsh’s statement said.
“While the risk in Boston remains low, this situation is changing very quickly and we are closely monitoring any local cases,” Walsh continued.
There has been one confirmed case of COVID-19 in the Boston area as of Monday, according to the city.
“Our top priority is preventing any new cases, to the best of our ability, and we are paying close attention to guidance from public health officials,” Walsh’s statement continued. “We encourage all residents to follow preventative measures to avoid illness, such as washing hands and staying home if you are feeling sick, and we will continue to make public any information as this situation develops in Boston.”
The first case of COVID-19 in Boston was confirmed on February 4, in a patient who had recently returned from Wuhan, China, the original site of the outbreak. The man, a Boston resident in his 20s, was isolated after his return from China.
There are also eight “presumptive positive” cases of COVID-19, meaning that those cases “did not require hospitalization and are self-isolating at home,” the city said. The CDC is currently testing those eight to confirm they are indeed positive.
“There is no evidence of community transmission in Boston right now,” the city said in a statement Monday. “The risk remains low, but this situation is evolving rapidly and changes day to day.”
As of Monday, there are 595 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States.
The CDC says the best prevention methods are basic forms of hygiene — careful hand washing, avoiding touching the face, moving away from people who are coughing or sneezing and staying home at signs of illness.
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