BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker urged residents not to believe rumors about a potential statewide shelter-in-place order during the coronavirus pandemic. He said there is no such order currently in the works for Massachusetts.
“I’d also like to dispel, once again, recent rumors about a shelter-in-place order. Massachusetts is not planning any forced shelter-in-place order. Everyone needs to get their news from legitimate sources,” said Baker.
Baker said the state will continue to monitor developments to determine if a shelter-in-place order becomes necessary.
“We’ve said all along that we’re going to make our decisions based on the best guidance and advice we get from the advisory board that’s serving the command center and from the folks that are doing the work, and from the facts on the ground. We have shut down enormous parts of our economy and our communities across the Commonwealth,” Baker said. “I’m not going to do it just because somebody else did it. And the other thing I would say to you is I’ve been on numerous conversations with governors over the past ten days and the facts on the ground from one state to another vary dramatically.”
So far, 3,132 people have been tested for coronavirus in Massachusetts. There were 328 positive tests as of Thursday.
“As we see the daily number of cases rising, you will be learning that people you know have tested positive. Friends, neighbors, coworkers, and members of our own family,” saud Massachusetts Department of Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel.
Bharel asked residents to “protect yourself and protect others.”
“If you have a cold or feel mildly ill, at this time we advise you to stay home,” she said.
Baker was also joined by Bob Coughlin, the president and CEO of MassBio, to discuss a database that has been set up to track supply donations. Healthcare professionals have expressed concern that they could run out of safety equipment needed for treating coronavirus patients.
“We currently are asking all of those life sciences companies in the state to donate lab, testing, and diagnostic supplies, general protection equipment known as PPE, and medical and scientific expertise that is needed by folks on the front lines to combat COVID-19,” said Coughlin.
To fill out the survey, organizations can log onto the MassBio website. Though Coughlin said the initial show of support was large, he hopes more will continue contributing to the database.
Over 200 organizations have reached out in the 24 hours since the database launched.
“We need more,” said Coughlin. “You’d be surprised. It’s not just biopharma and medical device companies and diagnostic companies that are offering to donate. It’s also dentist offices, colleges, universities. If you have these supplies that we need on the front line, please fill out the survey and we’ll get this into the database.”
MassBio will not be responsible for collecting and distributing the supplies. The database is being created to supplement the work being done by the state. The information will be given to the state’s command center, and they will be in charge of distribution.