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Press Release Massachusetts Public Health Department Reports State’s First Death from COVID-19

More than 300 state residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus
For immediate release:
3/20/2020
  • Department of Public Health

Media Contact for Massachusetts Public Health Department Reports State’s First Death from COVID-19

Ann Scales, Director of Media Relations

BostonA man in his 80s from Suffolk County is the first person in Massachusetts to die from COVID-19 related illness, the Department of Public Health announced today. The man had been hospitalized and had pre-existing health conditions that put him at higher risk for COVID-19.

To date, 3,132 residents of Massachusetts have been tested for COVID-19 by the State Public Health Laboratory and commercial labs. Of those, 328 people have tested positive. These figures will be updated on DPH’s online coronavirus dashboard at 4 p.m. today.

“I extend my heartfelt sympathies to the family and friends who lost their loved one,” said Gov. Charlie Baker. “We are living in uncertain and challenging times, and our administration is bringing every available resource to bear in the fight against this disease, and remind everyone in our Commonwealth to continue to work together, follow social distance protocols and look after each other to keep our communities safe.”

COVID-19 activity is increasing in Massachusetts. At this time, if people are only mildly symptomatic, they should stay home. If they become more ill, they should speak to their healthcare provider about whether they need to be assessed in person. If not, they should stay at home while they are sick. Asymptomatic family members should practice social distancing and immediately self-isolate if they develop symptoms.

In the United States, there have been more than 10,400 cases of COVID-19 and more than 150 deaths, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Massachusetts and nationwide, the public is being asked to avoid crowds, stay 6 feet away from others, not shake hands or hug, and call/Facetime and online chat with friends and loved ones rather than meet face to face.

More information about COVID-19 can be found at www.mass.gov/covid19.

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Media Contact for Massachusetts Public Health Department Reports State’s First Death from COVID-19

Department of Public Health 

DPH promotes the health and well-being of all residents by ensuring access to high-quality public health and healthcare services, and by focusing on prevention, wellness, and health equity in all people.
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