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There Are No Plans To Issue Statewide Shelter In Place, Baker Says

Gov. Charlie Baker said Sunday morning he has no plans to issue a statewide quarantine in Massachusetts, calling the rumors "wild speculation."

The governor made the comments on WCVB-TV on Sunday. He said business leaders and others across the state have been reaching out to him asking whether he would order a 14-day shelter in place.

"We have no plans to do that," he said.

Baker was joined by Department of Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, who said the state has tested 799 people for coronavirus. That's almost double the 475 testing number released the day before by Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders.

When asked, Baker and Bharel would not commit to releasing daily testing numbers.

Other states, including Rhode Island and Connecticut, have made available testing numbers broken down by city or town.

The governor said the goal is to test 1,000 people a day, but wouldn't say when the state would reach that pace.

Drive-through testing centers would be available "soon" in Massachusetts, Baker said.

As for the city of Boston closing many bars in South Boston and elsewhere Sunday, Baker said the city did the right thing. He said he hopes they're shut down Tuesday for St. Patrick's Day as well.

Earlier in the week, Baker banned all gatherings of 250 people or more in the state.

"One of the reasons why bars and restaurants weren't in [the ban] is because for the most part, those are regulated at the local level," he said. "And we wanted to give cities and towns the flexibility to do what they thought made the most sense for them."

Baker reiterated that he would not order all schools shut down, though nearly all have. He said if the facts change, his decision will change.

Asked whether he'd get on an airplane right now, Baker said he would avoid any non-essential travel. He said he would eat in a restaurant, adding it wasn't inappropriate "as long as I think I can deliver on the social distancing issue."

He said he has not been tested for coronavirus and is not symptomatic.

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Ally Jarmanning Twitter Digital Producer
Ally is a reporter who champions data and public records in the WBUR newsroom.

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