Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said he expects the number of coronavirus cases to rise as the state's testing capacity continues to grow.
Baker, speaking at his daily coronavirus media briefing on Saturday, said the state has made tremendous strides toward increasing its coronavirus testing capacity.
"Since Wednesday, testing capacity generally has grown," he said.
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Baker said the number of completed tests nearly doubled, from 520 Wednesday to 962 on Friday. The state's testing capacity grew from 700 to 1,144 over that same time period. And he said the capacity of commercial testing facilities will continue to grow over the coming days as well.
"As the testing numbers go up, we certainly expect an increase in the number of positive test cases we see as well," he said.
Effective Monday, Baker said all early education centers and family child care providers will be closed. But he said selected sites will be opened to provide child care services for emergency responders, medical professionals, grocery store workers and others working to ensure the safety of the state's residents during the coronavirus outbreak.
The governor said Friday that Massachusetts is not planning a forced shelter in place as a means to blunt the spread of the deadly coronavirus. The state also announced its first coronavirus-related fatality on Friday, a man in his 80s from Winthrop. The state's second COVID-19 related death was announced Saturday night, a woman in her 50s from Middlesex County.
Baker continues to urge residents to obey the restrictions put in place regarding social distancing.
Overall in Massachusetts, there are now 525 cases of COVID-19.
Massachusetts is one of the states in the U.S. with the most coronavirus cases in the country so far. More than 200 people have died nationwide, including nine in New England.
Severe restrictions to daily life have been ordered in Massachusetts, including school cancellations, restaurant closures and limits to gathering in groups, as the state fights to mitigate the spread of the deadly pandemic.