Baker says RI wedding may be to blame for recent cases in Mass.

Coronavirus

BELMONT, Mass. (WPRI) — While numbers are down in Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker said Rhode Island may be to blame for some of their most recent coronavirus cases.

Baker said the seven-day positivity rate is 1.1% in the state, but called out an event in Rhode Island for several of the most recently reported cases.

The Massachusetts Department of Health announced an additional 349 positive cases on Tuesday and 12 newly reported deaths.

Full breakdown of today’s COVID-19 data (Mass.gov) »

“The wedding that we figured out through our contact tracing program took place in Rhode Island, where a number of people from Massachusetts went to it, everybody who went to that wedding except one person tested positive for COVID,” he said.

Baker did not specify where exactly the wedding took place or how many cases there were, but he did say these types of events need to have better social distancing.

“People clearly haven’t been distancing, haven’t been wearing masks,” he said. “A lot of these involve what I would describe as events where people are familiar with one another and they behave like they are familiar with one another.”

Joseph Wendelken, a spokesman for the Rhode Island Department of Health, says it was actually a bachelorette party.

“There was no wedding in Rhode Island with Massachusetts guests that resulted in significant transmission,” Wendelken said in a statement. “However, there was a bachelorette party with roughly 20 people in late July. The group was almost entirely from Massachusetts.”

Baker mentioned the wedding during his Tuesday briefing, while responding to a question regarding an unpublished study claiming the Biogen Conference in February led to 20,000 positive cases.

He said current safety precautions were not in place yet, which created a dangerous situation.

“The number of people who attended the conference, the number of people who eventually tested positive who attended the conference, and the lack of and this is no offense to anybody,” he said. “At that point in time nobody was wearing a mask, nobody was social distancing, nobody was even behaving with a concern for the virus at all.”

Baker held his briefing at a small business called WheelWorks and encouraged residents to shop small and local during this upcoming tax free weekend in Massachusetts.

He also announced a new website called findmylocalma.com that helps residents find local places to shop.

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