BOSTON (CBS) – The coronavirus pandemic has caused gasoline prices to drop sharply nationwide and in Massachusetts.

According to AAA Northeast, 35 states across the county have had decreases at the pump this week.

“The trend for gas prices is down. In fact, in Massachusetts this week we were down seven cents on Monday, according to our AAA survey. We were down seven cents last week, so since the beginning of the month we’re down about 20 cents,” AAA spokesperson Mary Maguire told WBZ-TV.

“AAA national is predicting that by the end of March we will probably be looking at a $2 a gallon average for regular unleaded gasoline.”

Maguire said prices are already starting to drop to $1.99 a gallon in some spots in Massachusetts.

“I can tell you that this is the lowest price of the year so far. We’re looking at an average in Massachusetts of $2.29, a national average of between $2.20 and $2.25,” she said. “I think we’ll continue to see these drops, especially as demand decreases and as fewer people are driving, more people are telecommuting like me, so we’ll see less demand for gasoline and that will push down the price even further.”

Maguire said drivers should shop around because there’s a wide range in prices in AAA’s weekly survey of gas stations in Massachusetts, from a low of $1.99 on up to a high of $2.69.

“That’s a 70-cent range so that’s good news for consumers because it means that smart shoppers should be targeting the $2 or less mark and they should be shopping accordingly.”

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