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Coronavirus Cases Rising In Mass. Because Testing Capabilities Increasing Dramatically, Gov. Baker Says

BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said the recent spike in the state's coronavirus cases is "not necessarily a bad thing" because it means the number of tests being done locally is increased dramatically.

As of Saturday, there were 525 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Massachusetts. That marked 112 new cases from the previous day.

Baker said over the previous two days, the number of tests done statewide as increased 50 percent each day. This comes as federal guidelines for testing loosened, allowing private labs to perform more testing.

"I think one of the key elements of success in dealing with this is amping up dramatically our testing capabilities so we can identify people who are infected, so that we can then create isolation processes for them and for those they've come in contact with," Baker said. "That number (of positive tests) is going to climb. And the reason that number is going to climb is because we're testing more. That's not necessarily a bad thing. And by the way, people are recovering at the same time people are coming on."

Baker made the remarks outside Morning Star Baptist Church in Mattapan, where he attended Sunday service.

"I fully expect testing is going to go up leaps and bounds based on the changes in the federal standards and the availability of additional test capacity here in Massachusetts," said Baker. "I've said now for five or six days that as we test more, we are going to find more people who are infected. That's then going to lead to a lot more approaches to deal with tracing and isolation."

Baker said the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPEs) remains a critical issue for healthcare workers.

The Massachusetts governor told President Donald Trump on a conference call that states are being outbid by the federal government when trying to order coronavirus supplies.

"I am hoping and anticipating the President is going to live up to the commitment he made to me after I raised this issue early in the week when I said you can't bid against us if you expect us to go out and buy this stuff. He said the next day that if they're in a bid war with states and other entities that they'll step back," said Baker.

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