Ns News Online Desk: In Massachusetts, 15 people have died because of the new coronavirus and 1,838 people have tested positive for the disease, according to the state government, which updates the case count every day at 4 p.m.
A total of 19,794 people in the state have been tested for COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus, so far.
The four new deaths reported since yesterday (March 24) include a man in his 80s from Norfolk county, a man in his 80s from Barnstable county, a man in his 70s from Worcester county and a woman in her 70s from Worcester county. Except for the man from Worcester, all of of these individuals had known preexisting conditions, the government reported.
Republican Gov. Charlie Baker announced on Wednesday (March 25) that schools and daycares will stay closed until Monday, May 4, according to Boston.com.
Baker has also ordered all nonessential businesses to close their walk-in stores by 12 noon Tuesday (March 24) and has asked that all public gatherings involve no more than 10 people, according to Boston.com. The governor asked that the state’s Department of Public Health issue a “stay at home advisory,” which would still allow people to go outdoors for their mental and physical wellbeing, as long as they followed social distancing.
“I do not believe I can — or should — order U.S. citizens to be confined to their homes for days on end,” Baker said, according to Boston.com. “It doesn’t make sense from a public health point of view, and it’s not realistic.”
Baker declared a state of emergency on March 10, giving his administration more flexibility to respond to the outbreak. On March 15, the governor issued an emergency order prohibiting on-premises consumption of food and beverages at bars and restaurants from March 17 to April 6.
In addition, the Department of Public Health issued visitor restrictions for hospitals and assisted living facilities, and mandated that hospitals cancel nonessential elective procedures.