Hospitals Say Spread of Coronavirus in Boston Appears to Be Accelerating

This could mean the total number of COVID-19 cases in the state could rise dramatically in the coming days as additional test results come in

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Hospitals in Greater Boston say the spread of coronavirus appears to be accelerating based on the number of patients they've seen in recent days.

The Boston Globe surveyed several hospitals, and most reported seeing an uptick in coronavirus patients on Tuesday.

Massachusetts General Hospital said the number of suspected COVID-19 patients quadrupled from Monday to Tuesday. Beth Israel, Brigham and Women's and Boston Medical Center and Tufts Medical Center said they've also seen an increased number of patients this week.

Carney Hospital in Dorchester has become the nation's first "dedicated care center" to help patients impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

According to the Globe, this means the total number of cases in the state could rise dramatically in the coming days as more test results come back.

"This is clearly escalating at a very rapid pace," Dr. Peter Slavin, president of Massachusetts General Hospital, told the Globe

The number of COVID-19 cases in the state rose to 218 on Tuesday, up 21 from a day earlier. Massachusetts is one of the states in the U.S. with the most coronavirus cases in the country so far. While no one has died from the virus locally, more than 70 people have died nationwide.

Dr. Daniel Kuritzkes of Brigham and Women's Hospital discusses what we know about how COVID-19 is transmitted.

Severe restrictions to daily life have been ordered, including canceled school, and limits to gathering in groups and eating in restaurants, as the state fights to mitigate the spread of the deadly pandemic.

On Tuesday, Gov. Charlie Baker said Massachusetts faces "tough days ahead" but shot down rumors of residents being ordered to shelter in place.

For days, the majority of Massachusetts' cases accounted for in the Department of Public Health's numbers were related to an employee meeting held by local biotech company Biogen at a downtown Boston hotel. But that is no longer the case -- Tuesday's figures report 102 people tied to the meeting directly or through members of their household.

Thirty-three cases have been found to be transmitted locally and 24 are related to travel, according to the numbers. Another 59 remain under investigation.

Someone has the coronavirus in at least 10 of the state's 14 counties.

The rush to limit social activity across the nation is an attempt to prevent the virus from spreading so quickly it overwhelms hospitals' intensive care units, which places like Wuhan, China, and Italy have seen.

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