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One Year Ago Today, Gov. Baker Declared A State Of Emergency In Massachusetts Due To COVID

BOSTON (CBS) -- It has now been one year since Massachusetts entered a state of emergency due to the coronavirus crisis. On March 10, 2020, Gov. Charlie Baker made the emergency declaration, emphasizing the need to "mitigate the spread of this disease now."

At the time, Massachusetts had reported 92 total positive COVID tests, with the majority connected to the Boston Biogen conference super spreader event. But Baker noted that the state was starting to see the virus spread person-to-person in western Massachusetts, and "for the first time we have cases in Berkshire County that we can't track back to an individual."

"We believe it's important to start taking more aggressive action now to mitigate spread based on the information we have available," Baker said at the time.

Baker ordered executive branch employees to discontinue work-related travel until further notice. He also said older adults and people with health issues should avoid large crowds whenever possible.

baker state of emergency
Gov. Charlie Baker announces a State of Emergency due to coronavirus, March 10, 2020. (Photo credit: Mass. Governor's Office)

"I would have to say the risk has increased," Baker said.

One day later, the World Health Organization would declare the coronavirus to be a global pandemic, and Baker would take action less than a week later to close schools, limit restaurants to takeout and delivery service only and prohibit group gathers of more than 25.

So far, Massachusetts has reported more than 560,000 COVID cases and more than 16,000 people have died of a coronavirus-related illness.


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