BOSTON (AP) — The number of people in Massachusetts who have tested positive for the new coronavirus jumped to 13 on Saturday, up from eight on Friday, state health officials announced.
That includes one confirmed case and 12 presumptive positive cases that are awaiting final confirmation from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The five new cases include four people from Middlesex County: a woman in her 40s, a woman in her 50s, a man in his 40s and a man in his 60s; as well as a man from Berkshire County in his 60s, the state Department of Public Health said in an emailed statement Saturday. No names or hometowns were disclosed.
Of the five new cases, three had a direct connection to recent meeting of the biotech firm Biogen that was held for company employees at Boston’s Marriott Long Wharf Hotel. One had recent international travel that included northern Italy, and the fifth case is still under investigation, officials said.
That brings to eight the number of people who attended the Biogen meeting who have tested positive.
Biogen in a statement said it has asked employees who attended the meeting to self-quarantine.
All other office-based Biogen employees and contractors in Massachusetts, North Carolina and Switzerland are being asked to work from home until further notice.
“We recognize that this is a difficult situation for our colleagues and their loved ones,” the company said in a statement. “We are actively working with all relevant departments of public health and hospitals to prioritize the well-being of the people who may have been exposed to COVID-19.”
The hotel has been working to clean the area where the Biogen meeting took place, city health officials said.
More than 700 Massachusetts residents have been quarantined as a precautionary measure.
Of those quarantined, 470 people have completed monitoring and 249 remain in isolation, according to state health officials.