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Mayor Walsh: Marathon is still on for now, but it’s a ‘fluid situation’

The Boston Marathon is still on for April 20, but it’s a “very fluid situation,” as officials continue to monitor the spread of the coronavirus around the world and locally, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said Tuesday.

Walsh spoke to reporters a day after the city’s St. Patrick’s Day parade was canceled.

Walsh said the parade was canceled “out of caution” at a time of “national concern” about the coronavirus.

He noted that the Marathon gives a $211 million economic boost to the city, but said the bottom line in his job as mayor is to “make sure the people are safe.”


Walsh said the city was preparing on multiple fronts for the coronavirus problem to get worse, including cleaning schools “all day long,” planning for dispersal of homeless shelters to smaller “mini-shelters,” and readying city employees to work from home.

“We’re preparing for unfortunately what might be inevitable in the city of Boston,” he said. “I want Bostonians and people listening not to be fearful, but to be cautious.”

He said he would be happy if he could say in three weeks the crisis had been blown out of proportion, but “unfortunately, I don’t think that’s going to be the case.”

Martin finucane can be reached at martin.finucane@globe.com. Danny McDonald can be reached at daniel.mcdonald@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Danny__McDonald.