Local doctor gives insight on coronavirus


SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WWLP) – State health officials have ordered hundreds of people to stay inside after their potential exposure to the coronavirus.

The risk of contracting the virus in Massachusetts is still extremely low, but 608 people have been subject to self-quarantine in Massachusetts.

A Pittsfield family is under a mandatory 14-day household quarantine, following their return from a rural area of China. However, the family is not showing any symptoms. A Springfield doctor told 22News its possible to contract the virus for up to two weeks after being exposed to it.

“Right now people are being asked to stay indoors if they have been exposed basically to somebody else who has the coronavirus,” Dr. Ira Helfand, doctor of Family Care Medical Center, told 22News. “Here in Massachusetts at this point in time, the risk is extraordinarily low but this is a rapidly changing situation.”

Dr. Helfand told 22News the coronavirus is very contagious, but you should only wear a mask if you were infected. A mask will not protect you from getting infected. In Massachusetts, there has been one confirmed case and one presumptive case of the coronavirus.

More than 80,000 cases have been confirmed globally.

We’re keeping track of the number of coronavirus outbreaks across the world.

Click here for an interactive map

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