BOSTON — First identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, the new virus officially called COVID-19 has been quickly spreading to all corners of the world as officials rush to contain the outbreak.
The specific type of coronavirus that has now infected over 98,000 people around the world has already caused 3,300 deaths, the bulk of cases and fatalities being mostly contained to China. However, other countries around the world such as Italy, South Korea, and Iran have experienced rapidly expanding outbreaks, causing fear and anxiety to travelers.
Airlines have started waiving cancelation fees for travelers who decide to put off their air travel plans due to the outbreak. Schools have been closed to contain the spread and keep people safe and hand sanitizers are flying off the shelves.
Here are any confirmed or presumed cases of coronavirus and the effects of the virus across Massachusetts:
New York City officials have decided to postpone the city’s St. Patrick’s Day parade due to coronavirus concerns.
The NBA has announced they will be suspending the entire rest of their 2020 season after two players reportedly contracted the virus.
President Trump has announced all travel from Europe to the United States will be suspended for 30 days starting Friday at midnight. These restrictions do not include the United Kingdom.
Citing coronavirus concerns, Mayor Marty Walsh has announced Boston Public School officials will be closing down the Eliot School in the North End for a week for deep cleaning.
Scituate’s Board of Selectmen voted to indefinitely postpone the town’s St. Patrick’s Day parade.
Mass DPH officials announced on Wednesday there were three new cases of the novel coronavirus in the state, bringing the total up to 95. Out of those 95, 6 are confirmed while 89 are presumed positive cases.
All Framingham Public Schools are closed on Thursday, March 12 after a parent of a Potter Road Elementary student has a presumptive positive case of coronavirus. The child reportedly starting showing symptoms of infection on Wednesday morning.
BU, NU, and all 5 of the UMass campuses are shifting to online-only classes amid the coronavirus outbreak. Several other colleges have also made the decision to move to online classes.
The World Health Organization has officially declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.
The JFK Library and Museum is closed “until further notice” after learning two employees attended a conference last week where other attendees were confirmed to have coronavirus.
Neither employee has shown symptoms and both are in self-quarantine.
The Library is telling people who visited the library between March 2-March 11 to monitor your health for symptoms.
The number of Massachusetts residents subject to COVID-19 quarantine has increased to 445 people, up from 249 reported last Wednesday. State health officials say 638 have completed monitoring and are no longer under quarantine. Last week, that number 470.
A letter sent out by Chelsea Public Schools announcing a staff member traveled to Italy during February break. The staff members is being tested for COVID-19 and has been instructed by their doctor to stay home.
After a parent of two Wayland Public School students tested presumptive-positive for COVID-19, two schools in the district will be closed to be cleaned and disinfected.
Since one student attends Loker Elementary School and the other is a Middle School student, both will be closed on Wednesday, March 11 in order for the school to conduct enhanced cleaning using a deep disinfection protocol.
Spring break will be extended until March 25 and after that, classes will be conducted virtually for the duration of the spring semester at Tufts University. Students who live on campus and cannot make arrangements to go home or somewhere else can stay on campus.
Effective immediately, all University-sponsored, connected, or funded domestic and international travel for students, faculty, and staff is prohibited. Safe for students returning home, the university strongly discourages students from traveling both domestically and internationally.
Spectators will be prohibited from attending the remainder of any winter sports events on campus, while spring sports will be canceled. University offices will remain open and faculty and staff will continue working as regularly scheduled.
Out of an abundance of caution, Emerson College officials have decided to transition all in-person classes to online teaching for the rest of the semester. Friday, March 13, will be the last day of in-person classes on their Boston campus.
During the following week, no formally scheduled classes will be held, allowing for faculty and staff to begin the transition to online classes so teaching can resume on March 23. The campus will remain open until the end of the semester and students living on-campus can decide whether to stay or go home. Dining services will continue to be available to students, but some services may be impacted.
These decisions do not apply to the Los Angeles campus, but the school will continue to monitor developments in California.
Woburn Public School officials announced a student at Shamrock Elementary School came into close contact more than a week ago with a person recently diagnosed as a presumptive positive case of COVID-19. The student is currently asymptomatic but will remain in self-quarantine for the next two weeks.
While the school will remain open, all field trips have been canceled until further notice. Officials continue to work to sanitize and disinfect school buildings and buses, but maintain that, so far, there have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus within the school district.
Following suit with many other colleges and universities across the state and the country, Suffolk University officials have announced they are extending spring break by two more days. When classes resume on March 18, “will be delivered virtually through online classes and/or other forms of remote learning for the remainder of the semester.”
The campus will remain open and operational, where services for students such as counseling, the health and wellness center and academic advising will remain available.
Students living in university-sponsored housing are asked to make plans to move out of their rooms, with the exception of international students living on campus who are unable to return home as well as domestic students with special circumstances. Students should expect more information from the Office of Resident Life and Housing with detailed instructions on moving out and any other related issues.
Starting at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 11, the University will operate an information hotline, and those who have questions may dial 833-761-0115. The hotline will be staffed from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Concerns with the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus, Babson school officials have decided to suspend in-person classes for the remainder of the semester starting on Friday, March 13.
“Our highest priority is the safety and wellbeing of our students, faculty, and staff,” said Babson College President Stephen Spinelli. “We are deeply concerned about the impact of this evolving global health situation and have worked tirelessly to make the necessary decisions to protect our community. Though we do not currently have a case of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) on our campuses, we need to do our part to help mitigate the spread and minimize exposure and risk.”
Two Natick High School students whose parents tested presumptive positive for COVID-19 have also tested positive for coronavirus, the superintendent announced Tuesday.
The students “have not been in contact with any students or staff” and have remained at home since their family initiated a quarantine the week before town officials learned of the situation, Natick Schools Superintendent Anna Nolin and Natick Public Health Director Jim White said in a joint statement.
Classes at Natick High will continue, and the school has been cleaned and disinfected, Nolin and White said.
Governor Charlie Baker has declared a state of emergency in Massachusetts as the number of presumptive positive coronavirus cases in Massachusetts has climbed to 91 on Tuesday, up from 41. So far, only one case has been confirmed.
By declaring a state of emergency, the state will now be able to receive federal aid to help in its response to the spread of COVID-19 in the state. According to Gov. Baker, by declaring a state of emergency state officials will be able to make faster decisions on a state level, will be able to assist and support local emergency responders and health officials, secure resources or real estate needed by MEMA officials to respond to ongoing and new cases and eases the process needed to help prevent the spread of the virus.
The last time a state of emergency was declared in Massachusetts was during the Merrimack Valley gas explosions and fires, where state officials were able to assist victims more easily and quickly.
Roughly 400 people have been tested for COVID-19 in the state since the outbreak spread to Massachusetts. So far, the number of presumptive positive cases is at 91, while only one case has been confirmed.
The confirmed case, a student at UMass Boston in his 20s, contracted the disease in early February after returning from a trip to Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the viral outbreak. According to DPH officials, he is still recovering from the disease. In order to be cleared and officially recovered, the patient must test negative for the virus twice. Samples have already been submitted to both the state lab and the CDC as the patient continues in quarantine waiting for those results.
Monica Bharel, the State Public Health Commissioner said the state currently has enough testing kits to do the work needed right now, but new requests for more kits and supplies have been put in with the CDC. While labs across the state will eventually help out with testing, currently, the DPH is the only place where testing can be done on a state level.
On Monday, the state received approval from the CDC for part of the testing process to be automated so patient specimens can be tested more quickly. Before, the state was only able to complete about 50 tests a day, but with the automated process, that number can be over 100 a day. This also makes releasing data a lot faster and more quickly accessible to the public.
Arlington is closely monitoring at least one student and their parent who may have a presumptive case of coronavirus. The school district has notified about 30 people who may have had contact with the student to stay home from school until March 20.
The school superintendent told Boston 25 News the attendance at the school where the student goes was down by one-third on Tuesday.
The schools were closed on Monday but have reopened after the town says they did a deep cleaning of all schools.
State health officials in New Hampshire have announced a new presumptive positive case of COVID-19, marking the state’s fifth presumptive positive test result.
Officials say the person is an adult male from Rockingham County and is self-isolating at home. Officials say this person “was identified as a contact to a case of COVID-19 in another state.”
Mayor Marty Walsh held a news conference Tuesday after the city announced it was canceling Sunday’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. During the news conference, Walsh was asked about the status of the upcoming Boston Marathon. Walsh says as of now, the Marathon will run as scheduled on April 20 but calls it a “very fluid situation." Citing a large number of charities involved and money raised for important causes, Walsh says if the Marathon is affected, he prefers it be postponed rather than canceled.
Effective immediately, Brandeis Athletics will restrict spectators from attending home athletic events through May 3. Varsity athletic events will go on as scheduled, unless otherwise announced. Spectators will also not be allowed to attend other events held at Brandeis.
The Ivy League announced it has canceled the upcoming Ivy League Men’s and Women’s Basketball tournaments. The League’s regular-season champions, Princeton women and Yale men, are automatic qualifiers to the NCAA tournaments.
In men’s basketball, Harvard was second in the standings.
“We understand and share the disappointment with student-athletes, coaches and fans who will not be able to participate in these tournaments,” Ivy League Executive Director Robin Harris said. “Regrettably, the information and recommendations presented to us from public health authorities and medical professionals have convinced us that this is the most prudent decision.”
A letter from the Office of Mayor Rivera announced the cancellation Tuesday morning. As of 4:30 p.m. on Monday, there have been no confirmed cases and the decision was made “out of an abundance of caution in an effort to keep residents of Lawrence and the Greater Merrimack Valley safe and healthy.”
Harvard University has announced all classes will be moved online. Students are asked not to return to campus after Spring Break and they must meet academic requirements remotely.
Large classes at MIT will be taught online.
Five more presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed in North Carolina residents after they returned from a Biogen conference in Boston in late February.
All of the patients are currently isolated in their homes awaiting confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A Stratton Elementary School student has tested positive for COVID-19, according to the town. That student is the child of an Arlington resident who had tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, which prompted the school to be closed on Monday.
The school will be open tomorrow, along with all Arlington Public Schools.
The Norwood town manager has tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a private event with other town officials and employees last weekend where one person had tested positive for the disease.
Tony Mazzucco, the town manager, volunteered to share his test results with the public, but information on any other town employees or officials will be kept confidential.
The person at the event who tested positive for COVID-19 is not a town employee or town official but is a resident of the town. Their identity is not being released at this time.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced on Monday evening that Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be canceled.
“This decision is being 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,” the mayor said in a statement.
Mayor Walsh apparently made the decision after consulting with local lawmakers and a representative from the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council.
“While the risk in Boston remains low, this situation is changing very quickly and we are closely monitoring any local cases," the mayor said in his statement. "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.
"We encourage all residents to follow preventive 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 Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced that there are 13 new presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth on Monday afternoon. Those new diagnoses bring the state’s total number of cases to 41 - though 40 of them are presumptive positive with just one case confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This increase in presumptive positive cases comes on the heels of 15 additional diagnoses announced on Sunday by Mass. DPH. The state’s first presumptive positive case of COVID-19 came on Monday, March 2.
All presumptive positive cases through Mass. DPH are sent to the CDC for confirmation.
Currently, the 41 cases are split between five Massachusetts counties:
- 15 cases in Middlesex County
- 10 cases in Suffolk County
- 10 cases in Norfolk County
- 5 cases in Berkshire County
- 1 case in Worcester County
23 men and 18 women have either presumptive positive or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts. Of those 41 total people, 32 are either Biogen employees or were in recent contact with Biogen employees, per Mass. DPH.
Out of the nine remaining cases, four are travel-related while five are under investigation.
Only four of the 41 cases required the patient to be hospitalized, Mass. DPH said.
With Boston’s St. Patrick’s Parade scheduled for Sunday, March 15, many are wondering if the festivities should go on as planned. The city has yet to release details on this year’s parade and tells us “the situation is evolving rapidly and changes day to day. The city is continuing to monitor and will provide updates as they know more on all fronts, including special events.”
Stratton Elementary School in Arlington will be closed on Monday after a presumptive positive case of COVID-19 was announced in a parent of a student at the school. That parent is a woman in her 40s who attended the Biogen employee conference in Boston during late February.
That student is also displaying symptoms and has been tested for COVID-19, according to a joint release from multiple public officials in Arlington. Those test results are pending.
Arlington’s Board of Health believes that student is the first - or one of the first - symptomatic students tested for the virus in Massachusetts public schools, per the release.
The student’s other parent remains symptom-free, as does another child in the household who attends the Gibbs School. They will both remain in self-quarantine for 14 days.
All other Arlington public schools will remain open Monday.
Arlington health officials are also awaiting the test results for another local family that had a member attend that Biogen conference. That family member has children who attend school at Dallin Elementary, the Gibbs School, and Arlington High School. That family also remains in self-quarantine.
A Newton resident is one of the presumptive positive cases of COVID-19, according to Superintendent David Fleishman of Newton Public Schools. That resident has a student in Horace Mann Elementary School.
That student is, “healthy and not exhibiting symptoms,” according to Fleishman, and will follow the quarantine protocol from Mass. DPH. until cleared to return to school.
Horace Mann Elementary will remain open Monday as the school’s facilities department cleans and disinfects prior to opening.
Plainville Superintendent Dave Raiche has announced that school buildings will be closed on Monday to be sanitized while one parent awaits pending test results for COVID-19.
A Weston parent is one of the presumed positive COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts, according to the town’s superintendent. That person is the parent of a Weston middle school student who, officials say, has not been to school since Wednesday, March 4.
That student is asymptomatic, according to Superintendent Dr. Midge Connolly. The student will remain in self-quarantine until cleared by the Weston Board of Health.
All school buildings will remain open on Monday. However, the district will not hold two scheduled music concerts and all school field trips have been canceled this week.
One Bedford resident is undergoing testing for COVID-19 after being in recent contact with one presumptive positive case of the virus. That resident is currently under self-quarantine while awaiting test results.
Family members of that resident were also advised to self-quarantine, including a Bedford High School student.
A parent of students at Bowman Elementary School in Lexington is one of the state’s presumptive positive cases of COVID-19, Lexington schools announced on Sunday. Those students are asymptomatic, officials say, and will remain in self-quarantine for 14 days.
The superintendent of Franklin Public Schools announced on Sunday that two staff members at local schools were asked to self-quarantine after attending a function with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
One staff member works at Horace Mann Middle School while the other is a staff member at Annie Sullivan Middle School.
Custodial staffs were called in to sanitize each school on Sunday as well as spaces that the schools share with Oak Street Elementary School and Keller Elementary School.
A Natick resident is one of the presumptive positive COVID-19 cases in the state, Natick school officials learned on Sunday afternoon. That parent has children who attend Natick High School.
The students and their family are following quarantine recommendations while Natick High School will be closed on Sunday night to sanitize the building.
The school will reopen Monday.
Fifteen more presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 have been announced in the Commonwealth, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The latest diagnoses brings the total amount of cases in Massachusetts to 28 - 27 of which are presumptive positive cases while one case is confirmed in a UMass Boston student.
All 15 of the latest presumptive positive cases are associated with the Biogen employee conference that was held in Boston in late February.
Of those affected, five are people from Suffolk County, five are from Middlesex County, four are from Norfolk County, and one female patient whose residence - and age - are unknown currently.
The Boston Public Health Commission announced on Sunday that five of those 15 new presumptive positive cases are Boston residents. That brings the city’s total number of confirmed or presumptive positive cases to nine.
According to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, none of the five residents needed to be hospitalized. All of them remain in self-isolation at their homes.
Two more presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 have been announced in New Hampshire, according to the state’s Department of Health and Human Services.
One patient is an adult male from Grafton County who had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 at church services in West Lebanon, NH. That church is Hope Bible Fellowship in the town. The church has canceled services and is trying to contact those who were in attendance at its events on the morning of Sunday, March 1.
The other patient is an adult male from Rockingham County. That man recently traveled to Italy.
One student from the King Philip Regional School District is in self-quarantine after returning from international travel, according to the district. That student has not shown any symptoms of COVID-19, per the district, but will remain in quarantine for 14 days in accordance with the recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Currently, there are no confirmed or presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in the King Philip Regional School District, which is comprised of Wrentham, Plainville and Norfolk.
The total presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 has risen from seven on Friday to 12 on Saturday, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. There is still only one confirmed case of COVID-19 in the state. The DPH said that it will update its numbers daily by 4 p.m.
Of the five newest cases, three of the patients, “had a direct connection to the Biogen employee conference.” Another of the patients had recently traveled to northern Italy while the final case is still being investigated by Mass. DPH.
Four of the five patients are from Middlesex County. Mass. DPH says the Middlesex County cases involve a woman in her 40s, a woman in her 50s, a man in his 40s and a man in his 60s. The fifth patient is a man in his 60s from Berkshire County.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced on Friday five new presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 since testing began on Feb. 28 at the State Public Health Lab. These cases are tied to a February Biogen conference meeting in Boston, according to a release by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Those cases include two women and one man from Suffolk County, all in their 40s; and two people from Norfolk County, one woman in her 30s and one man in his 40s. All five of them are at their homes, the release said.
That brings the total number of presumptive positive cases to seven in Massachusetts and one confirmed case by the CDC.
Presumptive cases means that patients have been tested by the state lab, but officials with the Department of Public Health are still waiting for official confirmation from the Center for Disease Prevention and Control.
There are a total of 719 people who have self-quarantined in Massachusetts, according to a release by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Here’s a breakdown of the cases from officials:
4 cases in Suffolk County
1 is the confirmed case in an individual who traveled from Wuhan, China
3 individuals who were at the Biogen leadership meeting at Long Wharf Marriott
3 cases in Norfolk County
2 individuals connected to the Biogen meeting
1 woman in her 20s who returned from an organized school trip in northern Italy
1 case in Middlesex County
1 woman in her 60s who recently traveled to northern Italy
Officials stressed all presumptive positive cases in Massachusetts are in patients who had close contact with a person who had recently traveled from high-risk areas like northern Italy or Wuhan, China.
Officials did not address a presumptive positive case reported by the superintendent of schools in Cohasset. That case reportedly involves a woman in her 20s who had recently traveled to northern Italy with a school group out of Rhode Island.
Norwood town officials were notified on Friday that a person who attended a private event with town officials and employees last weekend has tested positive for COVID-19.
As a result, 11 town officials and employees will self-quarantine for 14 days as a means to help curb the spread of the virus. Anyone who becomes asymptomatic after that will be eligible to return to work. In the meantime, those under quarantine will work remotely.
Two Wellesley public schools announced early dismissals Friday due to the state’s seventh positive test result for coronavirus, according to a letter sent to parents.
According to Wellesley Public Schools, a parent has tested positive for COVID-19, leading to the early dismissals at Upham Elementary School and Wellesley Middle School.
The schools will undergo a cleaning process.
Another attendee of Cambridge-based Biogen’s Boston conference has tested positive for coronavirus, according to health officials in Indiana.
In a news conference Friday morning, public health officials announced an adult had tested positive for the new coronavirus disease COVID-19 after attending a conference in Boston, after which other attendees had also tested positive.
Dozens of employees of the biotechnology firm will now be tested for the virus.
DPH officials announced that a second presumptive positive case of COVID-19 in the state is being investigated and specimens have been sent to the CDC for official confirmation.
Plymouth Public Schools have announced all schools in the district will be closed on Friday after a 17-year-old Plymouth North High School student was hospitalized with flu-like symptoms following a trip to Milan, Italy.
Boston Prep has announced classes will be canceled on Friday, March 6, so buildings can be disinfected and sanitized.
Mystic Valley Regional Charter School announced on Thursday they will remain closed for the entirety of next week in efforts to curb the spread of the flu and COVID-19.
Three employees of the biotechnology firm Biogen have tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a meeting in Boston, the company announced late Thursday afternoon.
Four employees of South Shore Health have been ordered to stay home for two weeks after a patient who went to urgent care in Norwell tested presumptive positive for COVID-19.
Coffee giant Starbucks announced they will temporarily stop allowing the use of personal cups or tumblers at its coffee shops to help stop the spread of coronavirus. Customers are still encouraged to bring in their cups for the 10-cent discount, which will be honored, but cups will not be used.
The CDC announced it would be broadening the federal guidelines for testing of COVID-19, allowing more people to get tested, not just those who presented symptoms of the disease.
State transportation officials announced new measures employed by the MBTA to help curb the spread of the virus. The organization will begin disinfecting all surfaces that commuters touch multiple times a day - that includes platforms, trains and anything in between.
A Keolis spokesperson says they already clean Commuter Rail trains every night. Next up will be sanitizers in stations for subway vehicles and extra cleaning of contact surfaces, like fare machines and railings.
Schools and universities across New England are pulling their students from study abroad programs in Italy and canceling trips to the country as fears continue to grow of an uncontrolled spread of the virus. Students who traveled overseas for February break were asked to stay home due to concerns about the potential exposure of the coronavirus.
A Cohasset woman who recently chaperoned a school trip that’s linked to two other positive cases of coronavirus in Rhode Island tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to state health officials. Her specimens were sent to the CDC for an official confirmation on the case.
Public health officials said they have been monitoring more than 600 people under self-quarantine in the state looking for possible symptoms of the COVID-19 virus.
Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel said 608 people have been under self-quarantine in their homes. Of those, 377 have already completed their monitoring and have been released without symptoms.
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