After 8th U.S. coronavirus case is confirmed, some in Chicago say they might avoid Chinese New Year events

An eighth case of the coronavirus in the U.S. was confirmed Saturday, as some in Chicago said they might avoid Chinese New Years events.

Health officials say a college student in Boston, who just returned from Wuhan, China, has the virus. He’s in his 20s and is presently hospitalized in isolation.  

Despite the rising number of coronavirus cases, they’re expecting a large crowd for the parade in Chinatown, but there are those who say the coronavirus has scared them away.

“I live in Chinatown. Ok, so everytime they have a parade, I was there. But tomorrow, I don’t know, I need to think about it. I rather not,” said Joseph Chiu.

Near Wentworth and Cermak where the decorations are up, it was busy Saturday night, and for some, the coronavirus was not keeping them away, it was drawing them to it.

“Because we heard on the radio people are not coming down because they are afraid of the coronavirus, so we thought we would come down and support the businesses, so we came down to eat,” said Traci Fuller of Deerfield.

Chinese new year parties are continuing this weekend because organizers have been told the risk of getting coronavirus in Chicago remains low.

Thousands lined the streets for the Argyle Lunar New Year parade in Uptown Saturday afternoon. Nearby at the Southeast Asia Center, Mayor Lightfoot followed the lion into festivities. Parties were also held at the Shops at North Bridge where volunteers said even more people turned out this year.

“I think that people worry, but not preventing them from doing things. You still have to live right?” said June Yang of Huaxing Arts Group.

“Through our community center we also have a senior daycare service. And we work with seniors as well and a lot of them are taking extra precautions of staying home and things like that,” said Liang Zhang of the Xilin Association.