Chinatown’s Lunar New Year celebrations happening as planned amid coronavirus concerns

Amid concerns surrounding the coronavirus and the first confirmed case in Massachusetts, Chinatown's celebration of the Lunar New Year still happened as planned on Sunday.

BOSTON — Amid concerns surrounding the coronavirus and the first confirmed case in Massachusetts, Chinatown’s celebration of the Lunar New Year is still happening as planned on Sunday.

Chinatown boasts its Lunar New Year celebration as the largest in New England and this year will be no different as thousands are expected to line the streets. But because the coronavirus is said to have originated in Wuhan, China, there’s a false concern among some people that you’re at a higher risk of contracting the virus in areas with ties to China.

Organizers of the Chinese New Year celebration say just because it’s Chinatown doesn’t mean you’re at a higher risk of contracting the illness.

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Karen Chen, of the Chinatown Progressive Association, says, “Chinese and Chinese Americans [have] been in the U.S. for many, many years, and some people don’t actually have that much tie to China. I think everybody concerned about public health should come together and support China and figure out how to address this epidemic.”

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is echoing the same sentiment, tweeting:

The New Year celebrations begin at 11 a.m. with speakers, music and food with a parade shortly after.