BOSTON (AP) — James Taylor and his wife, Kim, have donated $1 million to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston to support the fight against the spread of the coronavirus.

The gift announced Tuesday will support the hospital's Emergency Response Fund, established in response to the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 to provide flexible resources that can be deployed quickly to support immediate needs.

The money will help the hospital direct resources where the need is greatest, whether for purchasing supplies and equipment, repurposing space, or furthering research, the hospital said in a statement.

Taylor, 72, has deep ties to the hospital. His father, Dr. Isaac Taylor, completed his residency in internal medicine, served as chief resident and conducted research there. James Taylor was born there in 1948.

Kim Taylor has served on the board of the MassGeneral Hospital for Children for the past five years.

“There is no question that it’s a point of pride for New Englanders to claim the MGH as their hospital — our hospital — and this is especially true today with the threat coming from a new and insidious virus,” James Taylor, who lives in the Berkshire Mountains in western Massachusetts, said in a statement. “Kim and I want to be part of this fight. We have been so inspired by the courage and sacrifice of the health care heroes in the trenches who are working so hard to protect us all.”

Hospital President Dr. Peter Slavin called the gift a morale boost.

“The Taylors have long provided comfort and hope through music, and this latest gift embodies that same sense of humanity and sends a heartening message to our staff that their efforts are appreciated, and they are not in this fight alone,” he said.

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PLASTIC BAGS OK

Some Massachusetts communities, including Boston and Cambridge, have lifted their bans on plastic shopping bags in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

There has been concern about reusable bags spreading the virus that causes the disease COVID-19.

"During this challenging time, we understand the retail establishments our residents rely on — like grocery stores, pharmacies, and restaurants — need added flexibility to best serve their customers," Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said Wednesday.

Boston's ban on the single-use bags took effect in December 2018 and was intended to reduce pollution.

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ABOUT THE VIRUS

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death. The vast majority of people recover.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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