04 / 20 / 2020
  - 12:03:32 PM
COVID-19 Update
By MyFM's Rick Michaels - In the month since the first COVID-19 death was reported Massachusetts on March 20, the viral disease has claimed the lives of 1,706 people here, state officials reported Sunday afternoon. The number of total cases now stands at 38,077. The Department of Public Health reported 146 new COVID-19 deaths and 1,705 new infections Sunday. The number of people who have tested positive for the coronavirus-caused illness, 38,077, is now greater than the entire population of the city of Braintree. The state also reported Sunday that 5,435 more residents had been tested, bringing the total number of tests conducted to a total of 162,241, which is greater than the entire population of Springfield but barely scratches the surface of the roughly 6.9 million residents of Massachusetts. On Sunday morning, Gov. Charlie Baker appeared on CBS's Face the Nation and said the Bay State is "right in the middle of the surge now." White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx named Boston and Massachusetts when asked on Face the Nation which areas of the country are showing concerning signs. "We're still very much focused on Boston and across Massachusetts where the epidemic continues to spread across Massachusetts as well as in Boston, and we're watching very closely Chicago," she said.  At 528 cases per 100,000 people, Massachusetts has the third most cases per capita of any state in the country, according to data compiled by the New York Times. Only New York and New Jersey outpace the Bay State. At 23 deaths per 100,000 residents, Massachusetts has the sixth most deaths per capita. As New York appears to move out of the worst of the crisis, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday that he has spoken with Baker and told him that New York is going to "be there for you" and that the Empire State will deliver 400 ventilators to Massachusetts "on 24 hours notice," if they are needed. Securing enough critical equipment -- from protective gear for health care workers to ventilators and more -- has been a primary focus of state officials for weeks. The federal government delivered only a few hundred of the 1,700 ventilators Massachusetts had requested. On Monday, Baker is scheduled to talk with House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Karen Spilka via conference call. The House and Senate continue to operate in a diminished capacity, unable to meet as a group due to social distancing and last week encountered some challenges in achieving the unanimous consent required to advance legislation. Legislative leaders on Thursday signaled plans for a bill dealing with crisis care standards and data collection, but no bill is available. If not for the COVID-19 pandemic, Baker would be expected to be on Boylston Street late Monday morning to crown the winners of the Boston Marathon. Race officials, the governor and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh are instead hoping the marathon can be run in September.

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