Mass. officials report state’s first COVID-19 death

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health said Friday a man in his 80s from Suffolk County is the first person in Massachusetts to die from the illness caused by the coronavirus.

Public health officials said the man had been hospitalized and had preexisting health conditions that put him at higher risk.

As of Friday, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts have topped 400. Of those, at least 58 have been hospitalized.

Gov. Charlie Baker offered his condolences to the man’s family.

“We are living in uncertain and challenging times, and our administration is bringing every available resource to bear in the fight against this disease,” Baker said in a news release.


For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death. The vast majority of people recover.

Read the statement on the death from the Town of Winthrop:

WINTHROP — Town Manager Austin Faison, Public Health Director Meredith Hurley, Police Chief Terence Delehanty and Fire Chief Paul Flanagan issue the following statement:

“We are deeply saddened to announce that a Winthrop resident has died as a result of his contracting COVID-19, the illness associated with the novel coronavirus.

“You will hear from the media and from the state and federal government that the victim was an 87-year-old man with underlying health conditions. The latter is as irrelevant to us as community leaders as it is to the family of our departed resident. The fact is that this terrible virus has taken a life in our community, and that loss of life gives each of us pause and fills us with sorrow.

“We are aware that our resident is the first patient to die from COVID-19 in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. We have one other resident who was diagnosed last week and continues to recover at home.

“We have been in contact with the family, and we relay from the family that they are deeply saddened and have requested privacy, and we ask that everyone respect their wishes during this difficult time.”

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