The total number of coronavirus cases in Massachusetts is up to 218, public health officials said Tuesday after it had arrived at 197 the day before.
Massachusetts is one of the states in the United States with the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country so far. While nobody died from the virus locally, more than 70 people died nationwide.
Severe restrictions on daily life have been ordered, including the canceled school, the limits on gathering in groups and eating in restaurants, while the state struggles to mitigate the spread of the deadly pandemic.
Earlier Tuesday, Governor Charlie Baker said Massachusetts faces “tough days ahead” and has torn down rumors that residents have been ordered to take refuge on the spot.
President Donald Trump and the Coronavirus Task Force gave updates on the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday, urging people to follow the CDC guidelines for at least 15 days and to act very cautiously. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin later announced a tax deferral of the IRS for those who are liable to pay taxes.
For days, most Massachusetts cases represented in the Department of Public Health numbers were related to an employee meeting held by the local biotechnology company Biogen at a hotel in downtown Boston. But it is no longer so: Tuesday’s data show 102 people linked to the meeting directly or through members of their family.
Thirty-three cases were found to be transmitted locally and 24 related to travel, according to the numbers. Another 59 remain under investigation.
Someone has coronavirus in at least 10 of the state’s 14 counties.
Eighty-nine cases were in County Middlesex, 43 in Norfolk, 42 in Suffolk, 14 in Berkshire, eight in Worcester and Essex, five in Bristol and Plymouth, two in Barnstable and one in Hampden. Another case has not yet been traced to a location.
Twenty-one cases have so far been confirmed as in need of hospitalization, while 52 remain under investigation and 145 people have not needed to go to hospital.
Many officials cited the phrase “flatten the curve” while seriously reducing public events. An infectious disease expert explained what it means and why it is crucial for the public health system.
The haste to limit social activity across the nation is an attempt to prevent the virus from spreading so quickly that it overwhelms hospital intensive care units, which places like Wuhan, China and Italy have seen.