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There Are Now 8 Cases Of Coronavirus In Massachusetts

Massachusetts Secretary of Health and  Human Services Marylou Sudders gives an update about cases of COVID-19 in the state during a press conference on Friday, March 6, 2020. (Screenshot of city of Boston video)
Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders gives an update about cases of COVID-19 in the state during a press conference on Friday, March 6, 2020. (Screenshot of city of Boston video)

There are now eight total active cases of coronavirus in Massachusetts, the state's Department of Public Health reported Friday morning, up from the three cases reported Thursday evening.

Three of the people who tested positive are Boston residents, Mayor Mary Walsh said Friday.

Of those cases, one is confirmed: The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tested a Boston man who had traveled to Wuhan, China. He is doing well but remains in self-isolation, Walsh said.

The other seven cases are "presumptive positives," which were identified by state testing. Those results were forwarded to the CDC for final confirmation. Of those, three of the people are from Suffolk County, three are from Norfolk County, and one is from Middlesex County.

Beyond the eight cases in Massachusetts, several people who traveled through Boston now have tested positive for the coronavirus, including a man in Tennessee, a man in Indiana and two people abroad, according to Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders.

Three of the Suffolk County cases, two of the Norfolk County cases, the two international cases and the case in Tennessee are all connected to a recent Biogen conference in the state. The biotech company confirmed on Thursday that three of the roughly 175 people who attended the meeting at the Longwharf Marriott have coronavirus, Walsh confirmed on Friday.

City officials are working with the Marriott to ensure the facility is properly disinfected, according to Boston Chief of Health and Human Services Marty Martinez. City and state officials are also tracing who came into direct contact with the infected conferees to get them tested, he said.

All of the presumptive cases in Massachusetts can be traced to either the Biogen conference or international travel, Sudders said.

Both Walsh and Gov. Charlie Baker stressed that every resident in the state can take simple steps to help contain the spread of coronavirus: Properly wash your hands, cover your cough using your elbow, and stay home if you're feeling ill.

"I think we all know that this is stressful for people, but health experts have advised a virus like this is not deadly for the vast majority of people who get it," Baker said.

Walsh asked that people avoid self-diagnosing. If you're feeling ill, stay home but call your doctor, he said. He also asked residents to check on their elderly neighbors, who may not have family or resources to care for themselves.

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Roberto Scalese Twitter Digital Producer
Roberto Scalese is a digital producer and editor. 

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