More than 1,000 people have been quarantined in Massachusetts amid the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, health officials said Wednesday.
Of the 1,083 people who have been quarantined, 638 have completed monitoring and are no longer in quarantine. The remainder, 445, remain in quarantine, the Department of Public Health said.
The numbers came a day after Gov. Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency as the number of coronavirus cases in the state spiked to 92, more than double the 41 cases announced just 24 hours earlier. But on Wednesday, Massachusetts reported just three new cases.
The governor said the state of emergency will give him greater power to take actions like shutting down events with large gatherings of people or gaining access to buildings or stockpiling protective gear if needed without getting bogged down in existing paperwork requirements. He is also restricting travel by executive branch employees.
Baker, who last week had said the risk of contracting the virus is low, on Tuesday said that given the new numbers of those who have tested positive, the risk of infection has increased.
He also urged older individuals to avoid large crowds. State health officials are also urging nursing homes to bar those who have traveled overseas or who are showing symptoms of disease.
The governor urged all employers of large organizations to follow suit where appropriate.
He said there is "no question" the steps being taken to mitigate the spread of the virus will be disruptive.
Nearly half of the state's cases — 41 — are in Middlesex County. Norfolk County has 22 cases, Suffolk County 20 and Berkshire County 7. Essex and Worcester counties have one case apiece. Forty of the patients are female, and 52 are male.
Seventy of the cases are associated with a conference held by the biotech company Biogen from Feb. 24 to 27 at the Marriott Long Wharf in Boston.
Officials say the risk level of contracting the virus remains low.
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