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Previous updates: May 4-9
Sunday, May 17
92 new COVID-19 deaths announced by Mass. DPH, number of COVID-19 cases eclipses 86,000
The state’s Department of Public Health announced on Sunday afternoon that 92 more people have died from COVID-19 in Massachusetts since their last update on Saturday. That pushes the death toll in the state to 5,797 people and is the lowest daily death total since Tuesday, May 12.
Mass. DPH also announced that an additional 1,077 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the state since Saturday, upping the total number of confirmed cases in Massachusetts to 86,010. Of those cases, roughly three percent are currently hospitalized, with 702 people in intensive care units at local hospitals.
The total number of coronavirus tests administered in the Commonwealth has reached 460,826 after Mass. DPH reported that 12,737 new tests have been performed since Saturday.
Saturday, May 16
Mass. DPH reports 113 new COVID-19 deaths, 1,512 additional cases in state
The death toll from COVID-19 in Massachusetts has risen to 5,705 people on Saturday after the state’s Department of Public Health announced 113 new in-state deaths from the virus. This is a three-death increase from Friday’s update from Mass. DPH.
Also, Mass. DPH reported an additional 1,512 cases of COVID-19 in the state, pushing the total number of confirmed cases in Massachusetts to 84,933. Out of those cases, around three percent are currently hospitalized, with 747 people who have tested positive in the intensive care unit at local hospitals.
The state has also announced that 12,410 coronavirus tests have been performed since their last update on Friday. In total, 448,089 tests have been administered in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Friday, May 15
Three nurse managers at Holyoke Soldiers’ Home placed on paid leave
25 Investigates has learned three nurse managers at the Holyoke Soldier’s Home have been placed on paid administrative leave. The facility, home to veterans, has been on the spotlight during the COVID-19 pandemic after the virus killed at least 74 patients since the pandemic started in the state.
It is unclear why the nurses have been placed on leave. Boston 25 News reached out to state health officials, but we were told they “don’t comment on personnel matters.”
So far, 88 veteran residents have died, where 74 tested positive , 13 tested negative and 1 case is still unknown.
104 residents remain onsite and 32 are offsite while 31 residents are at a dedicated skilled nursing unit at Holyoke Medical Center. One resident is receiving acute care offsite.
To date, 84 employees have tested postive for the virus.
Somerville officials announce health emergency will remain in place past May 18th
On Friday, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone announced the citywide state of emergency put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic will remain in effect beyond May 18, the day Gov. Baker is expected to issue statewide guidance for reopening the state.
Curtatone said that, once baker announces his plans for the state, “Somerville will assess the components of that plan and adopt an approach that fits the specific health and economic needs of the city and region.”
State health officials report 110 new COVID-19 deaths
According to numbers released by state health officials Friday, another 110 people have died from COVID-19, bringing the total number of deaths in the state to 5,592.
Officials report 1,239 new cases for a total of 83,421 confirmed cases in Mass.
Over 11,000 tests were reported Friday for a total of 435,679 tests performed.
Officials say 3% of all cases are currently hospitalized and 749 of those cases are currently in ICU.
MEMA creates interactive COVID-19 test site map
MEMA has created an interactive map for residents to find COVID-19 testing sites.
2020 Tanglewood season canceled
The 2020 Tanglewood season, scheduled to take place from June 19 to August 27, has been canceled due to COVID-19.
Season offerings will now take place online.
Activities can be accessed online here.
Boston public health emergency remains in effect
Boston Mayor Walsh said in his news conference Friday that Boston’s public health emergency remains in effect until further notice.
“We do not anticipate lifting it next week or in the near future. The same applies to our guidelines for physical distancing and face coverings,” Walsh said.
Walsh stressed they “will continue to make decisions for Boston" based on data.
On Monday, May 18, Gov. Baker’s stay-at-home advisory is set to expire. It’s unclear if he will extend it. On Monday, Baker is expected to release details on which businesses fall into Phase 1 of his reopening plan.
News conferences for Friday
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is holding a news conference at noon. You can watch this live here.
President Donald Trump is also expected to speak at approximately noon on vaccine development. Watch live here.
Governor Charlie Baker is speaking at approximately 2 p.m.
Thursday, May 14
Mass. DPH announces 167 new deaths from COVID-19 and 1,685 new cases
Massachusetts health officials announced 167 new deaths from COVID-19, bringing the total number to 5,482. On Thursday, 1,685 new cases were reported as 781 people infected with the virus remain in the ICU.
In total, 82,182 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed while 424,361 people have been tested for the virus since the outbreak began in the state.
Mass. Gaming Commission announces casinos won’t re-open until June 1st.
Due to Governor Baker’s stay-at-home advisory and the COVID-19 pandemic, officials at the Mass. Gaming Commission have decided not to re-open state casinos until at least June 1st.
Wednesday, May 13
Mass. DPH announced 174 new deaths from COVID-19 and 1,165
Massachusetts health officials announced 174 new deaths from COVID-19, bringing the total number to 5,315. On Wednesday, 1,165 new cases were reported as 794 people infected with the virus remain in the ICU.
In total, 80,497 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed while 410,032 people have been tested for the virus since the outbreak began in the state.
News conferences for Wednesday
Governor Charlie Baker will hold a news conference at approximately noon Wednesday in Fall River before visiting a drive-thru testing site.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is holding a news conference at 2:30 p.m.
Boston 25 News will carry these live online and on TV.
Doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital says they’re still seeing a lot of patients with COVID-19
Dr. Ali Raja said that coronavirus “hasn’t gone away,” as nearly 300 patients at Mass. General either have coronavirus or are suspected of having it. He said roughly 80 patients are on ventilators.
He added that while patients have been coming in for other medical reasons, including car accidents and falls, people coming to the hospital for heart attacks and strokes are coming “days after symptoms come in" rather than immediately like they would have before the pandemic.
Somerville city buildings to remain closed through June
Somerville city buildings will remain closed to the public until at least Monday, June 1, according to a news release. Further delays are possible as the city monitors the COVID-19 pandemic.
All city-sponsored and permitted events are canceled through June. Many city services are still available online and 311 is available 24 hours a day to answer questions or for service requests. More information on Somerville’s response to COVID-19 is available at www.somervillema.gov/coronavirus.
Tuesday, May 12
Mass. DPH announces 33 new COVID-19 deaths, 870 new cases in state
The daily death total from COVID-19 in Massachusetts fell by nearly 100 deaths from Monday as the state’s Department of Public Health announced that 33 more people have died from the virus as of Tuesday afternoon. That increase pushes the total death toll in Massachusetts to 5,141 people.
Mass. DPH did note in their daily report that some deaths from COVID-19 in the state were included on Monday’s report instead of Tuesday’s.
“Due to a later reporting deadline on Monday, May 11, some deaths that might have been included in today’s report were instead included in yesterday’s report,” Mass. DPH wrote.
Additionally, Mass. DPH also announced 870 new cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth, an increase of nearly 200 cases from Monday’s daily total. That means that there are now 79,332 confirmed cases of the virus in Mass.; 818 of those cases - roughly 4% - are currently in the Intensive Care Unit at local hospitals.
The state also announced that 6,768 new COVID-19 tests have been administered since Monday, pushing the total number of tests performed in Mass. to 401,496.
Monday, May 11
129 more deaths from COVID-19 reported, officials confirm 5,108 total deaths
As of Monday afternoon, more than 5,000 people died from COVID-19 since the outbreak began in the state of Massachusetts. 129 new deaths were reported while 669 new cases were confirmed by health officials.
Currently, 813 people remain in the ICU while 6,339 more people were tested for the virus.
In total, 78,462 people have contracted the virus and 394,728 have been tested for it so far.
Gov. Baker announces 4-phase approach to reopen Massachusetts
During his daily briefing Monday, Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker announced a 4-phase approach to reopening Massachusetts. The state’s stay-at-home advisory is set to expire on Monday, May 18.
The reopening phases would start with a small number of industries to reopen with restrictions and then slowly allow additional businesses to reopen with fewer and fewer restrictions until we reach the final phase. Those steps are outlined below based on Gov. Baker’s comments:
- Phase 1 - Start: Limited industries resume operations with severe restrictions
- Phase 2 - Cautious: Additional industries resume operations with restrictions and capacity limits
- Phase 3 - Vigilant: Additional industries resume operations with guidance
- Phase 4 - New Normal: Development of vaccine and/or therapy enables resumption of ‘new normal’
The state released their plan for reopening Massachusetts on its website, which includes the four-phased approach as well as the state’s mandatory safety standards for workplaces.
Dr. Jon Santiago at Boston Medical Center says “We’re heading in the right direction”
Sunday, May 10
139 more deaths from COVID-19 reported, officials confirm 1,050 new cases
As of Sunday afternoon, close to 5,000 people died from COVID-19 since the outbreak began in the state of Massachusetts. 139 new deaths were reported while 1,050 new cases were confirmed by health officials.
Currently, 810 people remain in the ICU while 11,852 more people were tested for the virus.
In total, 77,793 people have contracted the virus and 388,389 have been tested for it so far.
Whole Foods in Lynnfield closes after employees diagnosed with COVID-19
The Whole Foods store in Lynnfield has temporarily closed after employees tested positive for coronavirus, a spokesperson said on Sunday.
The spokesperson said they have been notified “over the past few weeks” that employees at the Lynnfield store at 427 Walnut Street have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
“Out of an abundance of caution, and to prioritize the safety of our team members, we have decided to temporarily close the store to further evaluate,” the spokesperson said.
Walmart re-opens two stores after closing amid coronavirus concerns
Walmart re-opened its Abington and Avon stores on Sunday, after closing Wednesday for precautionary measures amid coronavirus concerns.
An employee at a Quincy Walmart recently died of the virus, prompting that store to close indefinitely on May 4.
“Now more than ever before, customers are relying on Walmart for the essentials they need for their families,” Eddie Bostic, Boston-area Regional General Manager of Walmart, said in a news release on Sunday.