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Eighth US case of new coronavirus confirmed in Massachussetts

NEAt the terminal that serves planes bound for China, people wear medical masks at John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) out of concern over the Coronavirus on January 31, 2020 in New York City.

Spencer Platt

Authorities said on Saturday that the eighth U.S. case of the new coronavirus was detected in Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts Department of Health said in a press release that a man in his 20s, who recently returned from China and lives in Boston, tested positively. The man, who was not named, had traveled to Wuhan, the city where the virus originated.

“We are grateful that this young man is recovering and sought medical attention immediately,” said Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner Dr. Monica Bharel. “Massachusetts has been preparing for a possible case of this new coronavirus, and we were fortunate that astute clinicians took appropriate action quickly.”

The case was the first reported in Massachusetts. Health officials said that the risk to those living in the state remained low. The previous U.S. cases were reported in California, Illinois, Washington state and Arizona. The outbreak has spread to more than 20 countries, but the overwhelming majority of cases have occurred in China.

President Donald Trump on Friday declared that the new coronavirus was a public health emergency in the U.S. and imposed new travel restrictions between the U.S. and China.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the U.S. will deny entry to foreign nationals who have traveled to China within the past two weeks, aside from the immediate family of U.S. citizens.

More than 12,000 cases of the new coronavirus have been reported globally. The death toll reached 259 as of Saturday morning.

Massachusetts health officials said that they were working closely with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.