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As number of coronavirus cases doubles, governor declares state of emergency

MassLive reports that Gov. Charlie Baker this afternoon declared a state of emergency because of Covid-19 - with state health officials reporting the state now has 92 confirmed cases.

Declaring a state of emergency gives the governor and state officials more authority in dealing with the outbreak of COVID-19, such as quickly buying supplies or hiring new personnel without dealing with normal governmental procedure. The governor can also deploy the National Guard if needed to deal with the state’s response to the virus.

According to the latest state figures, Middlesex County now has 40 cases, Suffolk County 20, Norfolk County 22, Essex and Worcester counties 1 each and Berkshire County 7.

The state says that of the 92 reported cases, 70 are related to a meeting of 175 Biogen employees at the Marriott Long Wharf the last week of February.

The Boston Marathon is still on at this moment, but Baker says he expects a decision to be made soon.

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Comments

Yeah. That Biogen meeting was game over for Boston.

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game over for Biogen too.

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I understand the financials of State of Emergency for the State. But, how does it affect the everyday life in the City?

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Don't you mean the STATE?

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But if the numbers increase exponentially, it gives the governor the ability to immediately decree things, such as calling out the National Guard.

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I'm not sure how this works, though... What would we be calling the National Guard for in this situation? The only other time I think that they come into play is, say, a hurricane strikes and we need equipment and people to reach damaged areas and victims.

I'm worried about the fine line between "abundance of caution" self-quarantined people and encroaching on the free movement of people. New Rochelle is containing "facilities, not people," according to the NY governor. With this pandemic evolving every day, will that change? Would the National Guard come into play for containing people, too?

This news cycle makes me break out my tin foil hats, so forgive me if this is a short-sighted opinion. I just don't think anyone's really sure what to do yet, and it's probably too late.

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A few other governors have done the same. This is a necessary step.

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Glad he came back from vacation to do it.

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An employed adult take vacation time with his family. The horror!

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Employed by me.

I knew the pandemic was happening. Maybe he should read a newspaper as well.

The time to act is before the crisis hits, but typical Charlie Baker, do nothing before and wave your hands afterwards.

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"Not fixing the T" takes a lot out of you

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The "latest state figures" shows only 1 confirmed and 91 "presumptive", whatever that means. 92 is the sum of those, not the number of confirmed.

But I don't know how there could only be "1 confirmed", unless they're using a strange definition for that word.

Of note, 18 of those have neither been connected to travel or the Biogen event, which says "community transmission" to me. I'll be working from home this week, and I guess indefinitely.

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Presumptive means tested positive. Confirmed means that the CDC has also tested that same person and that test was also positive.

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Right now, due to limited tests, initial testing only done through Mass Dep't Public Health. Once positive, they are listed as "presumptive" and samples sent to CDC which takes 1-2 more days to get results. Because of rapid growth this is why most are listed as not yet confirmed, but no reason to believe that the CDC tests will be negative.

Agree that there is definitely community transmission happening, probably has been for quite a time.

Social distancing is essential to slow spread.

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The state lab says "positive test" then it's presumptive. They send it to the CDC. The CDC confirmation removes the word presumptive.

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Presumptive = tested positive locally

Confirmed = positive results confirmed via CDC testing in Atlanta

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Maybe because I keep seeing it everywhere (because I keep reading about the virus as part of my job). I'm going to go out on a limb and say I trust the Massachusetts state labs and that if their tests show infection, then that's a "case" for me. Otherwise, officially, the only "confirmed" case in the state is that first one, the UMass-Boston student.

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This semantics game is tiring. I haven't heard of any presumptive cases being reversed by the CDC. I consider them all confirmed if the state says so.

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is there a question, comment or complaint in there somewhere?

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So what does this mean for the Dreaded Private Sector employees?

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Don't let us down.

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Unlike state workers who aren't allowed to work from home and who will be furloughed without pay and without even the state covering their contribution to health insurance.

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Not sure where you're getting that info, every emergency day i've had to take has been paid and havent heard anything to suggest otherwise.

The work from rule home rules are a pain though, and a lot of us are hoping this presents a chance to actually get to work from home even after the virus.

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I certainly don't want to give in to panic, but is it time to stock up? Where would one find reasonable guidance and practical advice for the coming days, or weeks, or...?

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I’m all set.

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Toilet paper second?

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so I'm all set.

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Mostly because I needed to do some shopping anyway. I don't think there's even a remote chance that grocery stores will close. THAT would incite panic, maybe even riots/looting. People need to eat, so denying them food is not a solution to anything. The cashiers and baggers were all wearing gloves for their own protection. They may add masks to their PPE if things get really bad, but I don't see it going any further than that.

I recently saw an Italian citizen describe their current situation on Reddit. Nightlife is nonexistent for now. Bars and restaurants are closed by 6pm. But they can still run out to the store/pharmacy/post office/etc. if they need to. They just have to be careful about it - i.e. keep their distance from others while waiting in line, things like that.

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That's actually somewhat comforting :-)

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Keep in mind that I'm not any sort of an expert on the subject. I hope I didn't come off that way. Just thinking about things logically and trying to keep a level head.

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Restaurant closings - or drastic cutbacks of hours and staff - quite likely.

Supermarkets - I don't think so, other than if a specific area gets to bad hot spot status. What I think is more likely is fall-off in small multiple trips - some people will hopefully not binge/panic shop but plan a little more and buy in greater amounts in order to need to go out among other people less often. Maybe a slight overall fall-off in walk-in shopping, but I'd bet a noticeable uptick in online shopping and delivery - hello, Peaquod! errr... Peapod!

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So when will they shut down that cesspit of public health filth, the MBTA? Hackers, coughers, sneezers and pickers-galore every hour of every day. And you're worried about a convention?

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My family member works at MGH and is in patient care. She is in contact with patients daily. She also takes the T to work.

I'm not an hysterical person, but I can't help but wonder what she's bringing home, either on her scrubs from work, or the ride to and from.

Jokingly we laugh that we'll have to hose her on in the yard before coming in the house, but what about health care workers? And what about the T?

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is a good old fashioned blizzard of '78 to keep everyone home for a couple weeks.

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We could still get a 1997 style April Fools blizzard. That was also a mild winter up to that point.

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It’s only the flu. Stop this hysterical bullshit.

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I don't see hysteria, I see genuine concern.

Question: Why should anyone believe you over what medical professional experts advise? You can choose to delude yourself, but we can only hope that you have no influence over family and friends.

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I had never heard anyone speak so highly of the flu and flu symptoms until this new virus came along. I've never wanted to get the flu either! I don't even want a little cold. It's unpleasant. That's why I get the flu shot and would gladly get a shot for COVID-19 if it became available.

We won't know what this really is until it settles down and can be studied. We don't know if there are any lasting effects of the virus that will appear in those who were infected.

We do not know far more than we do know right now.

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I think you are just trolling, but to compare this to the flu and do nothing is pretty selfish. I've seen reports that 20% of cases require a visit to the hospital. That doesn't happen with the flu. It attacks the vulnerable much harder than the flu. Have some compassion for others and try to do the right thing here.

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I would be very concerned w/ avoiding Covid-19 if I were you. And yes, I know me daring to surmise your demographics will likely give you mock internet outrage. As you're likely a man over 60, w/ one or more underlying health conditions, please play it safe.

First off, seasonal flu's mortality rate is 0.1% vs 1.4%-3.4% for Covid-19. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/03/04/c...) That is an exponential difference. Seasonal flu has a vaccine, yet it still fills hospitals every winter. The earliest we could see a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine mass produced is in a year. My hospital was close to running out of beds numerous times over winter. Just last month, they were in danger of running out of beds (critical census) for over a week.

The below is from https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/03/who-is-getting...

About half of the 109 Covid-19 patients (ages 22 to 94) treated at Central Hospital of Wuhan, researchers there reported, developed acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Half of the ARDS patients died, compared to 9% of patients who did not develop the syndrome. The ARDS patients had an average age of 61, compared to an average age of 49 for those who did not develop ARDS.

Preliminary data suggest men might be more susceptible. The difference is fatality rates: 1.7% for women and 2.8% for men.

Researchers found that the 399 patients with at least one additional disease (including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, hepatitis B, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic kidney diseases, and cancer) had a 79% greater chance of requiring intensive care or a respirator or both, or of dying. 130 with two or more additional diseases had 2.5 times the risk of any of those outcomes.

Scientists found that diabetes and hypertension [raise risk from average] by about 60%. Because it isn’t unusual for someone to have an underlying disease (especially diabetes and hypertension) but not know it, the last figure is likely an underestimate.

The fatality rate in patients who reported no other health conditions was 0.9%. It was 10.5% for those with cardiovascular disease, 7.3% for those with diabetes, 6.3% for people with chronic respiratory diseases such as COPD, 6.0% for people with hypertension, and 5.6% for those with cancer.

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I've seen your posts many time, so I'll guess at your demos
By Dot net on Wed, 03/11/2020 - 11:44am.
I would be very concerned w/ avoiding Covid-19 if I were you. And yes, I know me daring to surmise your demographics will likely give you mock internet outrage. As you're likely a man over 60, w/ one or more underlying health conditions, please play it safe.

First off, seasonal flu's mortality rate is 0.1% vs 1.4%-3.4% for Covid-19. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/03/04/c...) That is an exponential difference. Seasonal flu has a vaccine, yet it still fills hospitals every winter.

Let's agree to bury the useless and inflammatory rhetoric and stick to the data

First there is misuse of the term exponential difference -- the correct usage is:
There is a multiplicative ratio of about 14 to 34 in the death rate between the COVID-19 and Seasonal Flu

Now for the relevant Data not Facts:

  1. the data is still mostly preliminary with unknown quality all being intermixed
  2. there are some fairly controlled situations such as Korea*1 and the Cruise Ships*2,3 which suggest that this is not much more serious than the Seasonal Flu
  3. there are other countries whose data varies considerably in "quality" that suggest higher or lower mortality ratios*4,5,6,7

That said the Seasonal Flu:

  1. Infects many Millions [each year] with occasional outburst approaching several tens of Millions.
  2. The pretense of a Flu Vaccine doesn't insure too much because many people don't bother to get the Vaccine. The mutations in the Flu just in advance of the delivery of each season's vaccine makes it a mismatch of varying effectiveness.
  3. Leads of to hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations each year'
  4. Leads to tens of thousands of deaths each year
  5. Leads to hundreds of pediatric deaths each year
  6. has an overall estimate of 0.1 % mortality for known infections
  7. this years stats according to the CDC estimates -- that so far this season:
  8. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/index.htm#ILIMap

    1. CDC at least 34 million flu illnesses
    2. 350,000 hospitalizations
    3. 20,000 deaths from flu.
    4. 16,819 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations were reported by FluSurv-NET sites between October 1, 2019 and February 29, 2020
    5. The overall cumulative hospitalization rate was 57.9 per 100,000 population which is similar to what has been seen during recent previous influenza seasons at this time of year.
    6. 136 influenza-associated pediatric deaths occurring during the 2019-2020 season

Back to COVID-19 -- By the way both Singapore and NY State so far have 0% mortality for about the same number of known infections [180] although Singapore is much later stage into the infection with 54.5% already recovered versus 0% so far recovered for NY State

Refs:
*1
Korea
*2
7755 cases 54 deaths 0.69% mortality for known infections
Diamond Princess [Yokohama Japan]
696 cases 6 deaths 0.86% mortality for known infections
*3
Grand Princess [San Francisco]
21 cases [1]*10 death [0 or 4.7%] mortality for known infections
*4
Germany
1629 cases 3 % mortality for known infections
*5
Japan
581 cases 12 deaths 2% mortality for known infections
*6
Switzerland
613 cases 3 deaths %0.49 mortality for known infections
*6
France
1784 cases 33 deaths %1.8 mortality for known infections
*7
Italy
10,149 cases 631 deaths %6.2 mortality for known infections
*8
Singapore
178 cases 0 deaths %0 mortality for known infections with 96 so far recovered
*9
NY State
186 cases 0 deaths %0 mortality for known infections with 0 so far recovered
*10
based on 1 death associated with the ship just prior to the current cruise

Overall Data Source [except for the CDC quoted stats]
Johns Hopkins CORONAVIRUS RESOURCE CENTER

Johns Hopkins experts in global public health, infectious disease, and emergency preparedness have been at the forefront of the international response to COVID-19.

This website is a resource to help advance the understanding of the virus, inform the public, and brief policymakers in order to guide a response, improve care, and save lives.

https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd4029942...

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Maybe you don't care if your elderly parents die needlessly from this but the MAJORITY of people do and will take every precaution in order to prevent it! Time to stop being selfish and educate yourself.

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