BOSTON — Here are the latest local updates on the coronavirus pandemic in Massachusetts.
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Saturday, April 25
174 new COVID-19 deaths reported in Mass.; 2,379 additional positive cases announced
The death toll in Massachusetts from COVID-19 has risen to 2,730 people on Saturday after the state’s Department of Public Health announced that 174 more people have died from the virus in the Commonwealth. This comes one day after 196 deaths were announced in the state from COVID-19.
Additionally, Mass. DPH also reported that there are 2,379 new positive cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts as of Saturday, April 25. That pushes the total number of positive cases in the state to 53,348. The state has also announced that it has administered 11,632 additional COVID-19 tests as of Saturday.
In total, 226,845 people have been tested for COVID-19 in Massachusetts.
Gov. Charlie Baker toured Hasbro’s partner factory, which is producing face shields
Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito visited Hasbro’s partner factory Cartamundi in East Longmeadow. The factory has been converted from a games factory to manufacture 50,000 plastic face shields every week to donate to local hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Baker said that it’s been a challenge to get PPE to first responders around the state since the outbreak of coronavirus. But he thanks Hasbro for stepping up and helping.
"This is a big deal, they’ve stepped up,” Baker said of Hasbro. “Now they’re providing 50,000 face shields every week” to hospitals in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
He said the facility recently donated 250 face shields to Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, which has had numerous coronavirus-related deaths during the outbreak.
"We are incredibly grateful to Hasbro and it’s team,” Baker said.
Friday, April 24
196 new COVID-19 deaths reported Friday
State health officials announced Friday afternoon another 196 deaths in the Commonwealth from COVID-19. A total of 2,556 people in the state have now died from the virus and the number of confirmed cases is now at 50,969.
State officials say there have been 215,213 tests performed.
Cape Cod Baseball League cancels 2020 season
“After careful consideration, the Cape Cod Baseball League Executive Committee has voted unanimously to cancel the 2020 season.”
News conferences for Friday:
Governor Charlie Baker will hold a news conference at approximately 2 p.m.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is set to speak at 4 p.m.
The White House Coronavirus Task Force will speak around 5 p.m.
Boston 25 News will bring these to you live on air and online.
Thursday, April 23
State reports 178 new COVID-19 deaths
There have been 178 new COVID-19 deaths in the state Thursday, according to state health officials. There are now 2,360 deaths in the state.
Another 3,079 cases have been reported, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 46,023.
A total of 195,076 tests have been performed.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren says her brother has died from COVID-19
Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeted Thursday morning her oldest brother Don died from coronavirus on Tuesday evening.
My oldest brother, Don Reed, died from coronavirus on Tuesday evening. He joined the Air Force at 19 and spent his career in the military, including five and a half years off and on in combat in Vietnam. He was charming and funny, a natural leader.—
86K more filed for unemployment in Mass. last week
More than 4.4 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, including over 80,000 new claims in Massachusetts, according to U.S. Department of Labor statistics released Thursday. Claims in the Bay State are down from the prior week, when a little over 100,000 people filed new claims. In total, over the past five weeks more than 650,000 people in Mass. have filed for jobless benefits.
More than 26 million Americans are now jobless. That’s about 1 in 6 workers.
Wednesday, April 22
Health officials announce 221 new COVID-19 deaths reported, total climbs to 2,182
Massachusetts health officials have announced 221 more people have died after contracting COVID-19, bringing state total to 2,182. So far, 42,944 cases in total have been confirmed while 180,462 people have been tested for the virus.
News conferences for Wednesday:
Governor Charlie Baker is speaking from the State House at approximately noon.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh will be giving an update on the outbreak in the city at 2 p.m.
The White House Task Force will speak at approximately 5 p.m.
Boston 25 News will bring you these news conferences live on air and online.
Tuesday, April 21
Health officials announce 152 new COVID-19 deaths reported, total climbs to 1,961
Massachusetts health officials have announced 152 more people have died after contracting COVID-19, bringing state total to 1,961. So far, 41,199 cases in total have been confirmed while 175,372 people have been tested for the virus.
Non-emergency child care programs ordered to stay closed until end of June
Emergency child care programs approved by the Department of Early Education will continue to operate.
There are 523 emergency child care programs serving families of essential workers in the Commonwealth.
The Department of Early Education and Care.com have teamed up to support families of essential workers and families with children who have special needs.
You can find more information about the program here.
Gov. Baker says schools will remain remote the rest of the year
While Massachusetts remains in a coronavirus surge, Gov. Charlie Baker said all public and private schools will remain closed for the rest of the school year and remote learning will continue.
“I think we all want to move on from this, believe me," Baker said. “But I think it’s really important to understand what’s at stake."
He said that being away from friends, teachers and sports “has been a terrible loss” for students, adding that it’s not an ideal learning situation. Once in a lifetime events are being missed and seniors have worked hard for four years, he said, saying they should “keep their heads up.”
He praised teachers, staff members and principals for working hard during this transition and said he knows that school closures put tremendous strain on remote learning at home.
But he reiterated that the safety and health of everyone at schools is what’s most important, and that there aren’t advisories on how to get kids to and from school safely.
"Doing it wrong could create more hardship for people in the long run.”
Baker said that all non-emergency childcare programs will stay closed until June 29.
"Let’s all just keep the fight up against the virus,” Baker said.
State data shows who is most affected by COVID-19
Data reveals that people 80 years and older in Massachusetts are the most impacted. Almost 2,700 people 60 years and older have been hospitalized due to coronavirus.
Monday, April 20
Mass. DPH announces 103 new COVID-19 deaths, 1,566 more positive cases in state
The death toll from COVID-19 in Massachusetts has climbed to 1,809 people on Monday after the state’s Department of Public Health announced that 103 more people have died from the virus in the state.
The organization also confirmed that there are 1,566 new positive cases of COVID-19 in the state, bringing Massachusetts’ total to 39,643 people who have tested positive.
Also, 7,157 additional people have been tested for COVID-19 since the state’s last update on Sunday evening. That means that, in total, 169,398 people have been tested for COVID-19 in Massachusetts, according to the Department of Public Health.
For the first time, the DPH published its daily figures in a new format offering significantly more detail on the pandemic’s impact. The 23-page packet breaks down cases, hospitalizations and deaths by both overall number and by rate, outlines data on how many coronavirus patients are in each hospital, and describes distribution of personal protective equipment to different regions and health care agencies.
New unemployment benefits available for gig workers, self-employed
Massachusetts residents who are ineligible for regular unemployment benefits can now apply online for the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program launched Monday.
“The new federal PUA program provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits who are unable to work because of a COVID-19-related reason but are not eligible for regular or extended unemployment benefits. This includes self-employed workers, independent contractors, gig economy workers, and those with limited work history,” according to the statement released by the Baker-Polito administration.
Applicants can learn more and apply at mass.gov/pua.
"With the implementation of this new federal benefit program, we can better support workers not normally covered by the unemployment system like those who are self-employed or work in the gig economy,” Gov. Baker said in a statement on the program.
To be eligible for this new program, individuals must provide self-certification that they are otherwise able and available to work but are prevented from doing so by circumstances relating to COVID-19, including their own illness or that of a family member.
Boston Athletic Association CEO says this year’s marathon Monday is about celebrating heroes
Tom Grilk, CEO of the Boston Athletic Association, spoke about how this year’s marathon Monday is different than year’s past.
The 124th Boston Marathon was postponed to Sept. 14 because of coronavirus. And while normally hundreds of thousands of runners, spectators and medical staff would be along the route from Hopkinton to Boylston Street in Boston, that’s not happening today.
“Today is a day to focus on the people who are keeping us safe and just letting us live our lives at a time when life is so disrupted in so many ways," Grilk said. "We just wanted to say thank you to medical people of all kinds.”
Grilk said normally we celebrate hundreds of thousands of runners and spectators, 10,000 volunteers and 2,000 medical workers. But "this year is a time to gather together to celebrate the people who are allowing us to live our lives at great risk to their own.”
Regarding the race being rescheduled for September, Grilk said the BAA staff is working to provide the same kind of Boston Marathon experience that normally would happen in April. But, he added that officials, facts and the coronavirus “will tell us” what ultimately will happen.
He also echoed Mayor Walsh and Gov. Baker’s urging to NOT run the marathon route today.
Dr. Jon Santiago spoke about his first weekend working at the Boston Hope field hospital
An ER doctor at Boston Medical Center, Dr. Santiago said he spent two days working at the healthcare for the homeless site of the field hospital, which has 1,000 cots for patients. He said that all of the patients have been diagnosed with COVID-19, but not all of them are symptomatic.
“It’s a very insidious virus,” he said.
Sunday, April 19
Mass. DPH reports 146 new COVID-19 deaths, 1,705 additional positive cases in state
The death toll from COVID-19 in Massachusetts has risen to 1,706 people on Sunday after the state’s Department of Public Health announced that 146 more people have died from the virus.
In addition to the latest deaths, Mass. DPH also confirmed that 1,705 new positive cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Massachusetts, bringing the state total to 38,077 people who have tested positive for the virus.
Since the state’s previous release of COVID-19 statistics on Saturday afternoon, 5,435 new people in Massachusetts have been tested for the virus. In total, 162,241 people in the state have been tested for COVID-19.
Full story: Massachusetts now at center of national outbreak
A new drive-thru testing site opens in Chestnut Hill
The testing site at PhysicianOne Urgent Care on Boylston Street is scheduled to be open Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Read the full story here.