BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — After at least two confirmed cases of coronavirus were diagnosed in Rhode Island over the weekend, New England officials are urging residents to take precautions to help slow the spread of the virus.
New Hampshire Senator Maggie Hassan spoke to WBZ NewsRadio about what the Granite State is doing to prepare for the inevitable outbreak. "What I'm working on is making sure there is seamless coordination and sufficient resources at the federal level, and that the federal authorities who are the most expert here... are communicating well to state and local authorities and getting them the resources they need."
There are currently at least four people in New Hampshire being tested for coronavirus. Officials say the fourth person had recently returned from a trip to Italy, where coronavirus infections rose 50 percent on Sunday.
Hassan said the public can do several things to help avoid catching the virus.
"That starts with washing your hands frequently." Hassan said. "It also means don't touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. If you know somebody who is sick with flu-like symptoms, you should keep your distance to be sure. And you should also make sure that if you have been traveling to any area where there's been an outbreak of this disease and you begin to develop flu-like symptoms, you should seek medical attention."
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health also put out a new warning to Massachusetts residents on Monday morning.
The department tweeted that "we don't recommend the use of masks in public."
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker also commented on the coronavirus on Monday morning.
"People who are coming back from areas that have a high level of presence of this virus, some type of stay-at-home-type quarantine is probably not a bad idea," Baker said. "The thing everybody is focused on at this point is ensuring .... people who show signs are tested, and tested quickly."
Baker also said the state's medical community is being involved in the new testing protocol. "We now have the ability to do the tests here in Massachusetts, and we spent a good part of the weekend talking to our colleagues in the healthcare world about making sure they're aware we have the testing capacity and we can do it when we need to."