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Baker Tours Fall River Manufacturer, Cites 'Encouraging' Signs

Key indicators about the COVID-19 outbreak in Massachusetts have moved in the right direction in recent days, but officials still want to see at least 14 days of continued progress, Gov. Charlie Baker said Tuesday.

After touring a Fall River manufacturing facility that has shifted to the production of medical gowns, Baker said Monday's daily update included the lowest rate of new tests that came back positive in several weeks and that patients hospitalized for the highly infectious virus are on a "pretty steady downward trend."

"We're still very much in the fight against the virus, but I think it's encouraging for everyone to see progress," he said.

However, he stressed that officials "need to see these numbers continue to fall" as the state progresses nearly two months into the public health emergency. Asked if the trends needed to continue for two weeks, Baker replied, "No one thinks you need less than 14 days, let's put it that way."

Baker praised Fall River's Merrow Manufacturing for adapting its textile operations quickly to meet critical state needs, arguing that the pandemic underscored the value of domestic supply chains.

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