Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade Canceled Due to Coronavirus Concerns

Boston's St. Patrick's Day Parade has been canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Massachusetts reached 41 on Monday, jumping from 28 on Sunday. Many of the cases are connected to a conference held in Boston's Seaport District last month.

"In collaboration with Congressman Lynch, Councilors Flaherty and Flynn, Senator Collins, Representative Biele, and David Falvey from the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council, the St. Patrick's Day Parade is being cancelled," Lynch said in a statement Monday afternoon. "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."

"While the risk in Boston remains low, this situation is changing very quickly and we are closely monitoring any local cases," Lynch continued. "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."

Massachusetts health officials said nine of the 13 new cases reported on Monday are linked to Biogen's conference at the Marriott Long Wharf in the Seaport District on Feb. 24 to 27. Four other cases are linked to traveling, while the others are still under investigation. In total, 32 of 41 cases were linked to the Biogen conference, reports NBC Boston.

Only one of the Massachusetts cases were confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The other 40 cases are presumed to be positive by the state Department of Public Health.

The one confirmed case was announced on Feb. 1. A UMass Boston student returned from Wuhan, China on Jan. 28 and tested positive after seeking medical attention for a runny nose.

The 119th annual Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade was scheduled for Sunday. Organizers were predicting more than 1 million people visiting the city for the parade, Boston.com reports.

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There are more than 113,000 confirmed coronavirus COVID-19 cases around the world, with more than 80,000 in mainland China alone, according to Johns Hopkins data. There are 607 confirmed cases in the U.S., and 22 confirmed deaths.

Photo credit: Nathan Klima for The Boston Globe via Getty Images