Baker: 10 more coronavirus testing labs now online, 750K pieces of protective gear being sent to healthcare workers

GARDNER, MASS. (WHDH) - Gov. Charlie Baker announced Tuesday that 10 additional coronavirus testing labs are now up and running and that 750,000 pieces of personal protective equipment were being sent out to healthcare workers across Massachusetts.

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The additional labs that are now processing virus tests include Beth Israel, the Mayo Clinic, Partners Health Care, Children’s Hospital of Boston, and Tufts Medical Center, Baker said. Those are in addition to the state lab in Jamaica Plain, Quest Diagnostics, and the Broad Institute.

“This is big progress from where we were even a week ago,” Baker said told reporters during a press conference at the Gardner Auditorium as the Department of Public Health’s “stay-at-home” advisory took effect in the Commonwealth.

Baker added that nearly 9,000 virus tests have been completed as of Tuesday, up from 6,000 on Sunday. He also noted that the number of positive cases will likely go up due to expanded testing capabilities.

Baker said the DPH has received more than 750,000 masks, face shields, gowns, and pairs of gloves. The equipment is being distributed to healthcare facilities by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

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Secretary of Health and Human Services Mary Lou Sudders said that all nine of the people who have died from coronavirus in the Bay State were 50 years of age or older, and at least seven had underlying medical conditions.

The governor also announced a new alert tool for residents to get updates about coronavirus in Massachusetts.

Residents can text COVIDMA to 888777 to sign up for the updates.

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