CHICAGO (CBS) — Concerns about the coronavirus are spreading in Chicago, causing some tough decisions this weekend.
Some community leaders have decided to cancel Chinese New Year celebrations, but in the Uptown neighborhood Saturday’s parade went on as planned.
This comes as for the first time in 50 years, United States citizens are under federal quarantine.
After being evacuated from China, 195 people are now ordered to remain in a California airbase for 14 days, so health officials can monitor their conditions to make sure they’re not infected with the virus.
The 48th Ward alderman said he has been in close communication with the Department of Health, which has been monitoring the outbreak with health from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Uptown parade organizers were not told to cancel the parade because the chance for the virus to spread in Chicago remains low.
The Argyle Lunar New Year celebration included music, lion dances and live entertainment followed by the parade.
Some marchers in the parade wore masks, but the crowd still seemed to be large and enthusiastic.
It’s a decades-old tradition for people living in Uptown, but Friday evening the Chinese Mutual Aid Association canceled its annual new year celebration at Truman College, which was scheduled for Saturday morning, as a precaution.
The event attracts more than 500 people — many elderly and children — who are vulnerable to the coronavirus.
In America eight cases have been confirmed, included two in Chicago.
Health officials say a man in his sixties got the virus from his wife, who returned from China on Jan. 13.
The next day he traveled to Cleveland for work. Health officials say the man did not show any symptoms when he was in Cleveland.
“Now that his case is positive for coronavirus we will follow up with his close contacts just as we did for his wife,” said Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady.
The man works for a construction company called Pearl.
The couple is being monitored in isolation at a suburban hospital. Both are believed to be in good condition.
The latest confirmed infection in America is in Boston where a University of Massachusetts student who recently returned from China has been diagnosed. His infection marks the first along the country’s east coast.
“This young man is now recovering after returning from Wuhan,” said Monica Bharel, a Massachusetts Department of Public Health commissioner. “He had limited exposure to others. The risk to residents of Massachusetts is low.”
Despite the two cases in Chicago, the local risk is also low.
To put it in persepective, during flu season in America 19 million people have been infected and 10,000 have died.
Health experts say although it’s new, there’s no reason to become alarmed because of the coronavirus outbreak.
In China now at least 259 people have died from the virus, and there are nearly 11,800 confirmed cases. That’s 2,000 new cases since Thursday. Most of the cases are in China, but the virus has spread to two dozen countries.
U.S. citizens returning from Wuhan, China, will now be under a mandatory quarantine for 14 days.
Meanwhile, three major airlines are canceling flights to China. Friday American Airlines canceled its flights until at least the end of March.
Delta and United will stop flights to China beginning next week.