Read: Mass. health officials announce 3 new COVID-19 deaths, bringing state total to 5

Five people in the state have now died from illness caused by the new coronavirus, state public health officials said Sunday. The state had recorded 646 cases overall as of Sunday.

This handout illustration image obtained February 3, 2020, courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. - Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. A novel coronavirus virus was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. (Photo by Lizabeth MENZIES / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO /CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION/ALISSA ECKERT/HANDOUT " - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS (Photo by LIZABETH MENZIES/Centers for Disease Control and /AFP via Getty Images) Photo by LIZABETH MENZIES/Centers for Disease Control and /AFP via Getty Images

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The following is a statement from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

BOSTON (March 22, 2020) – Three men – two in their 70s from Hampden and Berkshire counties and a third man in his 90s from Suffolk County – have died from COVID-19-related illness, bringing the total number of deaths from the novel coronavirus in Massachusetts to five. All three men were hospitalized. The Berkshire County man was reported to have an underlying health condition but all three men were in an age group that is more likely to experience severe disease from COVID-19 regardless of prior health status.

The confirmation of their deaths followed a weekend during which the commonwealth’s first two COVID-19 deaths were confirmed: a man in his 80s from Suffolk County who had been hospitalized and had pre-existing health conditions and a woman in her 50s from Middlesex County who had a pre-existing condition, predisposing them both to more severe disease.

As of 4 p.m. today, 6,004 residents of Massachusetts have been tested for COVID-19 by the State Public Health Laboratory and commercial labs. Of those, 646 people have tested positive. For the first time, DPH is also providing data on the age range of COVID-19 cases to the online dashboard.

COVID-19 activity is increasing in Massachusetts. At this time, if people are only mildly symptomatic, they should speak to their healthcare provider about whether they need to be assessed in person. If not, they should stay at home while they are sick. Asymptomatic family members should practice social distancing and immediately self-isolate if they develop symptoms.

In the United States, there have been more than 15,219 of COVID-19 and more than 200 deaths, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Massachusetts and nationwide, the public is being asked to avoid crowds, stay 6 feet away from others, not shake hands or hug, and call/Facetime and online chat with friends and loved ones rather than meet face to face.

More information about COVID-19 can be found at www.mass.gov/covid19.


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