3 Cambridge Residents Test Positive for Cononavirus

3 Cambridge Residents Test Positive for Cononavirus

Release from the Cambridge Public Health Department

  • Posted on: 13 March 2020
  • By: Susan


March 13, 2020

Media Contact: Suzy Feinberg, Public Information Officer, Cambridge Public Health Department

Telephone: 617-665-3833 | Cell: 617-455-2671 | Email: sfeinberg@challiance.org | @CambHealth

Three Cambridge Residents Test Positive for COVID-19

CAMBRIDGE, MA – The Cambridge Public Health Department announced today that three Cambridge residents have tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19):

A resident in their 50s (confirmed positive)
A resident in their 40s (presumptive positive)
A resident in their 30s (presumptive positive)
Individualswho receive a positive test result from a Massachusetts laboratory are considered “presumptive positive” pending confirmatory testing from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

All three cases are linked to the Biogen leadership meeting that was held in Boston in late February. None of the individuals have been hospitalized and they are all self-isolating at home. As of March 12, there were 108 positive COVID-19 cases among Massachusetts residents, 82 of whom were linked to the Biogen meeting.

In Massachusetts, the risk of COVID-19 infection is “rising” due to increased testing and increased transmission in the community, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

“We are at a pivotal juncture in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in Cambridge and neighboring communities,” said Claude Jacob, Chief Public Health Officer and Director of the Cambridge Public Health Department. “It is time for all of us in Cambridge—local government, businesses, schools, nonprofits, and residents—to take immediate actions to reduce the number of people who may become sick due to the virus.”

“Social distancing, handwashing, and disinfecting surfaces are vital in protecting our families, friends, and neighbors, especially those who are at risk for serious illness from COVID-19,” said Assaad Sayah, MD, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer of Cambridge Health Alliance and Commissioner of Public Health for the City of Cambridge. “They also will help to mitigate the impact on hospitals and other critical services, reducing surges and improving our ability to limit the spread of this disease.”

The Cambridge Public Health Department is urging organizations that are able to do so to implement a telework policy for their employees. The health department also urges organizations and individuals to cancel, postpone, or rethink events, meetings, and gatherings.

For gatherings that cannot be cancelled, postponed, or held virtually, the Cambridge Public Health Department recommends that organizers:

Discourage older adults and those with chronic health conditions from attending.
Ensure that recommendations for social distancing and close contact are met. Social distancing means remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.
Screen employees or volunteers leading the event for symptoms each day.Make sure that soap/sanitizers are available and that participants engage in proper handwashing and hand-hygiene practices.
Ensure that cleaning and disinfection guidelines for COVID-19 are followed.
About the Disease

Novel Coronavirus nCoV"Novel Coronavirus nCoV" by AJC1 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness characterized by fever, cough, and shortness of breath. According to the CDC, reported illnesses have ranged from very mild (including some with no reported symptoms) to severe, including illness resulting in death. While information so far suggests that most COVID-19 illnesses are mild, a report out of China suggests serious illness occurs in about 16% of cases.

The most susceptible populations are older adults and people of all ages with severe underlying health conditions, such as heart disease, lung disease and diabetes. These groups seem to be at higher risk of developing serious complications from COVID-19.

For the most current information, please visit the following COVID-19 websites:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
MassachusettsDepartment of Public Health
City of Cambridge
Cambridge Public Health Department

If residents have health-related concerns or questions, they should contact their doctor’s office. For other COVID-19 questions, please call theMassachusetts COVID-19 Information Line at 2-1-1. The call center is equipped to handle a high volume of calls.

If the Massachusetts 2-1-1 call center cannot answer your question, contact the Cambridge Public Health Department:
Email: covid19inquiries@challiance.org
Telephone: Leave a message on the department's COVID-19 phone line: 617-665-3648.