BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — An 87-year-old veteran from Winthrop is the first person in the Commonwealth to die from coronavirus-related illness.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health said the man had been hospitalized, and "had pre-existing health conditions that put him at a higher risk for COVID-19." He died in a Boston hospital.
"I extend my heartfelt sympathies to the family and friends who lost their loved one," Gov. Charlie Baker said in a release. "We are living in uncertain and challenging times, and our administration is bringing every available resource to bear in the fight against this disease, and remind everyone in our Commonwealth to continue to work together, follow social distance protocols and look after each other to keep our communities safe."
There are currently 328 cases of coronavirus in Massachusetts, out of 3,132 residents who have been tested—though those numbers will be updated later Friday on the DPH coronavirus dashboard, here. As DPH says COVID-19 is increasing in the Bay State, expect them to go up.
"Obviously, it's heartbreaking to say, but this is certainly a day I think we all knew would come," Baker said at a press conference later Friday afternoon. "We read and hear about the accounts from elsewhere in the world or across this country about the loss of life that this disease is responsible for, but when it happens here in the Commonwealth, it is obviously different."
There have been over 10,400 cases of the virus nationwide, with more than 150 deaths, according to the 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," DPH said.
DPH said anyone who is only mildly symptomatic should stay home, but contact their health provider if they begin to feel more ill.
"Asymptomatic family members should practice social distancing and immediately self-isolate if they develop symptoms," DPH said.
WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports