2.8 min readBy Published On: February 27th, 2020Categories: News0 Comments on Coronavirus News

Over 600 residents of Massachusetts who recently traveled to China have quarantined themselves voluntarily while being monitored for the coronavirus. According to the Boston Globe, 377 have completed the quarantine without falling ill, and 231 are still being monitored.

Currently only one person in Massachusetts, a Boston student – tested positive for the coronavirus.  And there may be potentially a second one. 

Locally, the Boston City Council has requested a hearing regarding the city’s preparedness for the coronavirus:

As of February 28, 2020, more than 84,000 COVID-19 cases have been identified worldwide, of which 8,000 cases are considered serious, and at least 2,800 fatalities have been attributed to the COVID-19 virus; and

The U.S. has had 61 total cases of COVID-19, one of which resulted in death, and the City of Boston has recorded one confirmed case of COVID-19 and 33 other Bostonians are being monitored and are self-quarantined; and the health risks caused by the spread of COVID-19 have negatively impacted economic markets, travel, tourism, and planned large-scale events. 

The Boston City Council, hereby assembled, orders a hearing to evaluate the City of Boston’s preparedness for the coronavirus strain COVID-19. Representatives from the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management, Boston Public Health Commission, the Boston Police Department, the Boston Fire Department, Boston Emergency Medical Services, Office of Neighborhood Services, Age Strong Commission, Boston Public Schools, and COVID-19 experienced medical professionals shall be invited to testify.

City Councilor Ed Flynn has also offered a resolution to support the Chinese and Asian communities during this time.

The Boston City Council expresses its public support and empathy for the Chinese and Asian communities during the COVID-19 epidemic, as well as recommits itself to fighting discrimination and racism of all forms.

Governor Charlie Baker announced during a press conference that the MBTA will be cleaning/disinfecting all contact areas at MBTA stations every four hours until further notice.  They will also be disinfecting every vehicle every day. (That sounds daunting.)

Nationwide, in Northern California, a woman has contracted the coronavirus without traveling to regions hit by the outbreak or coming into contact with anyone known to have the infection.  According to the Washington Post, this is the first sign the disease may be spreading within a U.S. community. 

With the Hong Kong Marathon being canceled, London is closely monitoring the coronavirus situation and will make a decision on whether or not to cancel as it gets closer to the date.  No word if the City of Boston is considering canceling the marathon too.

Symptoms & Prevention

Common symptoms of coronavirus include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. 

There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

And whatever you do, don’t watch the movie Contagion.

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