MASSACHUSETTS - After addressing the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday, President Trump held another press conference to declare the virus a national emergency today.

Making the announcement this afternoon from the Rose Garden, Trump went on to share that the declaration of a national emergency would allow roughly $50 billion in aid to be released to state and local governments. The aid will help communities to set up sites to test residents and more.

The president shared that his administration has created agreements with companies like Walmart and Target, who will open up areas of their parking lots to allow for drive-up coronavirus testing for those who exhibit the symptoms of the virus that include fever, difficulty breathing, coughing. Hospitals around the United States have also been granted additional powers to care for patients.

“Through a very collective action and shared sacrifice, national determination, we will overcome the threat of the virus,” Trump shared.

Meanwhile here in Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker banned gatherings of 250 people or more to help combat the spread of COVID-19. The ban does not include gatherings of people at airports, train and bus stations, factories and similar situations.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh also made the announcement on Friday evening that all Boston Public Schools will close beginning Tuesday, March 17 with a current plan to reopen on April 27. That date could of course change pending the pandemic.

Monday will be used for students to collect their things. The closure comes in an effort to slow the outbreak. The decision was made, per Mayor Walsh, after consulting with health and school officials.

"We understand the fear the concern, and the anxiety that families are facing," Mayor Walsh said.

As of Friday evening, the CDC has confirmed 18 positive cases of coronavirus in Massachusetts with 105 presumptive cases, bringing the total to 123 cases. 

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