Initial test results show that no Mainers have tested positive for the coronavirus as of 1 p.m. Tuesday. For the latest coronavirus news, click here.
Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday declared a state of emergency in Massachusetts as the number of people who have tested positive for the new coronavirus in the state jumped by 51 to 92. Of that number, 70 are connected to a meeting held by biotech company Biogen at a downtown Boston hotel.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said Tuesday the Boston Marathon scheduled for next month is still on — for now — a day after the city announced the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been canceled.
Conversations with those involved in the marathon — which expects about 31,000 runners as well as a million spectators and pumps more than $200 million into the city’s economy — are ongoing, Walsh said at an impromptu news conference outside City Hall.
Walsh said the city is also working on determining which city employees can work from home; cleaning and sanitizing schools throughout the day every day; and working on solutions for the city’s homeless population, such as spreading them across the city in mini shelters rather than concentrating them in just a few shelters.
Democratic leaders in the Massachusetts House and Senate said they’re hoping to debate a supplemental budget next week aimed at creating a $15 million fund to respond to the rise of
COVID-19 cases in the state by helping contain and prevent the spread of the virus.
Senate President Karen Spilka said the goal of the funding is to help state and local officials better prepare for the impacts of the virus, adding that the “Senate’s number one priority is to safeguard the health of our residents.”
House Speaker Robert DeLeo said public health emergencies demand immediate action from the government.
Another popular race in Massachusetts — the New Bedford Half Marathon — has been canceled.
New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell said that while there have been no confirmed cases of
COVID-19 in the area, the unique nature of the event poses a risk that is higher than other public gatherings. He said the race attracts as many as 3,000 runners — including many from places where COVID-19 cases have been confirmed — and runners are clustered tightly for an extended period at the starting line, raising the risk of virus transmission.
“This decision is not made lightly,” Mitchell said. “The New Bedford Half Marathon is one of the oldest and most popular half marathons in the country.”
For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.
The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.
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