BOSTON – Health officials from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts said there are now 92 cases of the Coronavirus in the state.
With the cases more than doubling in 24 hours, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has declared a state of emergency.
Gov. Baker urged residents to avoid international travel and cancel large gatherings.
The Governor also encouraged employers in the Commonwealth to discontinuing all work-related travel, both foreign and domestic.
He also encouraged companies to consider telecommuting options for employees.
“The purpose of moving forward with these measures now is to act before the numbers increase to a point where the virus spread is severely impacting the Commonwealth,” Baker said.
Of the 92, cases, 91 are “presumed positive” and only one positive confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control.
Of the 92 cases, 70 are associated with a Biogen seminar in Boston.
“The highly contagious nature of this disease means that if everyone plays their part in slowing the spread, the number of people who become infected and require medical attention doesn’t spike all at once, which would overwhelm many of our systems,” said the Governor.
A state of emergency can be declared by the Governor of Massachusetts in the event or imminent threat of a natural or man-made disaster.
There are now Coronavirus cases in every New England state but Maine. The Centers for Disease Control are reporting 647 cases and 25 deaths in the United States, as of yesterday.
There are 41 cases in Middlesex County and 22 in Norfolk County in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts still has more than 700 individuals in a 14-day self-quarantine.
Certain populations are more susceptible to the virus than others, including those with lung and heart diseases and diabetic individuals. Individuals with immune deficiencies are also susceptible.
It is important to keep in mind that far, far more individuals have contacted the flu than the coronavirus, but there is no vaccine for the coronavirus.
Massachusetts was experiencing a significantly higher than normal number of flu cases in 2020
Although the risk to Massachusetts residents of the coronavirus is low, the risk for influenza is currently high.
Many of the things you do to help prevent colds and the flu can help protect you against other respiratory viruses:
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Clean things that are frequently touched (like doorknobs and countertops) with household cleaning spray or wipes.
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Use a tissue or your inner elbow, not your hands.
- Stay home if you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
This specific type of coronavirus has infected almost 100,000 individuals world-wide, with more than 3,300 deaths, mostly in China where the virus began.
Some companies are having employees work from home.
There have been several cancellations including the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in Boston this weekend and several conferences in Boston.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said no decision has been made on the Boston Marathon in mid-April. he did indicate he would prefer a postponement and not outright cancellation.
The MetroWest Chamber of Commerce postponed the 10th annual Taste of MetroWest scheduled for March 17 to June 2020.
A handful of Massachusetts colleges & universities have decided for remote or online classes due to the virus, including Harvard University.