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Boston declares public health emergency over coronavirus

Boston declares public health emergency over coronavirus
© Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Boston declared a public health emergency amid the coronavirus outbreak that has shaken the country.

Mayor Marty Walsh announced the emergency “effective today” Sunday, saying the city started moving toward the decision last week. 

“Declaring a Public Health Emergency will enable us to deploy all the resources and personnel necessary to meet the needs of the moment,” he tweeted. “And it will authorize us to issue additional directives as the situation develops.”

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Walsh posted that the decision started as they were discussing how to support students out of school, but added that "it also goes beyond that, to the larger situation at hand."
 
The mayor continued that the declaration will "facilitate coordination" between city agencies, hospitals and health care providers and allow the city to seek federal and state help. 
 
The city has counted 29 confirmed and presumptive positive cases in the city, according to the Boston Public Health Commission. The state as a whole has recorded 19 confirmed cases and 119 presumptive cases.
 
 
Boston announced the suspension of the city's marathon by "several months," for the first time in 124 years, as there are growing concerns about gathering crowds during the outbreak. Last week, Boston also canceled its St. Patrick's Day parade scheduled for Sunday.
 
Massachusetts General Hospital President Peter Slavin told NBC News Sunday that health care officials need to look at the outbreak in "almost a war-like stance."
 
The U.S. has recorded more than 3,200 cases, with 12 recoveries and 62 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.