Gov. Baker Declares State of Emergency in Massachusetts


Governor Charlie D. Baker ’79 declared a state of emergency in Massachusetts Tuesday after the number of recorded coronavirus cases in the state doubled overnight.

As of Tuesday evening, there were 973 cases in the United States and 29 deaths. Massachusetts saw 92 cases of coronavirus reported, up from 41 on Monday.

At least 32 recorded cases of coronavirus in the state are connected to people who attended a Biogen conference at a Boston hotel on Feb. 26 and 27, where three employees later tested positive for coronavirus.

Massachusetts joined eight states, including New York, California, Rhode Island, and Maryland, in declaring a state of emergency.


Baker said at a news conference that he declared the state of emergency to give his administration more “flexibility” to respond to the outbreak.

“We believe it’s important to start taking more aggressive action now to mitigate spread based on the information we have available,” Baker said.

Baker added in the news conference that officials expect the outbreak to cause disruptions and that immediate steps needed to be taken to combat it.

“The efforts to mitigate the spread of this virus will be disruptive. We expect this disruption to continue for the foreseeable future and understand it will cause inconvenience for many,” Baker said. “But our goal needs to be to significantly increase efforts to mitigate the spread of this disease now.”

Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade was cancelled on Tuesday, according to Mayor Martin J. Walsh. The Boston Marathon is still scheduled to take place April 20, though the situation is “fluid.”

Baker's state of emergency announcement came the same day Harvard administrators informed students that they must leave campus by Sunday and that classes after spring break will be held online.

MIT also announced Tuesday that it would move to online classes following spring break and told undergraduate students to not return to campus.

—Staff writer Fiona K. Brennan can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @FionaBrennan23.