Massachusetts' Coronavirus Death Toll at 44, Over 1,000 New Cases Saturday

The Department of Public Health on Saturday attributed nine new deaths to the coronavirus

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Nine more people with the new coronavirus have died in Massachusetts as of Saturday, pushing the total number of deaths in the state to 44.

State health officials reported a total of 4,257 coronavirus cases, an increase of 1,017 from Friday's total of 3,240 and the biggest single-day rise for the state. Gov. Charlie Baker has been cautioning that the number of cases would likely rise as testing for the virus ramped up across the state.

Suffolk County now has the most confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 843, an increase of 212 from Friday's totals. Middlesex County, which had seen the majority of cases in recent days, is just behind with 842. There are 356 cases that have not yet been tied with a county.

As the number of coronavirus cases continues to grow, Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel has tested positive.

The deaths announced Saturday included two women in their 50s and 60s, a man in his 70s and three women and three men age 80 or over.

Baker was asked in a news conference Saturday morning about his own interactions with Mass. Public Health Commissioner Dr. Monica Bharel, who announced Friday she had tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. The governor said he had not been in the same building as Bharel for more than a week and has not shown any symptoms of the virus.

He also said Bharel has been committed to social distancing.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced Saturday afternoon that Michael McKinnell, the co-architect of Boston City Hall, had died from COVID-19 at the age of 80.

Also Saturday, the White House announced that President Donald Trump had signed off on a major disaster declaration for Massachusetts on Friday, freeing up funds for the Commonwealth. Baker said earlier in the week he had submitted the request.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker explains why people should donate blood during the coronavirus crisis while speaking at a Red Cross location in Dedham.

All travelers arriving in Massachusetts have been asked to self-quarantine for two weeks. Schools and non-emergency day care centers remain closed through the end of April, while a stay-at-home advisory for residents is currently in effect until April 7.

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