BOSTON (CBS) – There are now seven presumptive positive cases of coronavirus and one confirmed in Massachusetts, health officials announced Friday.
At a news conference at Boston City Hall, Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders said of the seven presumptive positive cases of coronavirus, three are in Suffolk County, three in Norfolk County and one in Middlesex County.
The one confirmed case so far is a UMass Boston student who traveled to Wuhan, China. That one case was confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control. The other seven cases are now being tested at the CDC for confirmation.
At the same news conference, the Boston Health Commission said two women and one man, all in their 40’s, were at a Biogen meeting last week at the Marriott Long Wharf hotel in Boston. They tested positive for the coronavirus and the city is now in the process of tracing who they’ve been in direct contact with the last several days.
“They were identified by Biogen as people who had been in close contact with one of the earlier confirmed cases that had been identified. Due to their contact and symptoms, they were tested for the virus and have tested positive,” said Boston Chief of Health and Human Service Marty Martinez.
“It’s important to note that this is not an example of community transmission as the source of this transmission is known and is connected to a confirmed case of the virus and close contact with that patient. These confirmed cases in Boston will be monitored by public health nurses through the Boston Public Health Commission,” he added.
Officials stressed that the coronavirus is not an airborne illness and that one must come into direct contact with an infected person to become infected. They said the risk of coronavirus transmission for the general public in Massachusetts is still low.
Friday’s announcement now brings the total of people infected at that Biogen meeting to eight. Sudders said three are from Boston and two from Norfolk County. Of the three others, two are employees from Europe and the other is from Tennessee.
Biogen has directed any employee who attended the meeting to work from home for two weeks. According to the Boston Business Journal, about 175 people were at that meeting. On Friday afternoon, Brigham and Women’s Hospital was helping to test people who attended the Biogen meeting.
Wellesley dismissed two schools early Friday after a parent of students at both schools was diagnosed as a presumptive positive case.
A man from Indiana who recently traveled to Boston has been diagnosed as the first presumptive positive case of coronavirus in that state, authorities in Indiana said Friday.