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March 30, 2020

Worcester County coronavirus cases hit nearly 400, with 53 new cases on Monday

Photo | Grant Welker Harrington Hospital in Southbridge

Reported Worcester County coronavirus cases hit 390 on Monday, an increase of 53 in one day, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Statewide numbers hit 5,752, with eight additional deaths, bringing the tally to 56. Both Worcester County and Massachusetts case numbers each grew by 16% for the second straight day.

The city of Worcester has reported 101 cases.

Worcester County fatalities remain at four, with 48 positive coronavirus cases in the city of Worcester itself as of Sunday afternoon.

UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester reported 37 patients who've tested positive who were being treated on an inpatient basis, including 18 in critical care. That's an increase from 22 inpatient cases through the whole UMass Memorial Health Care system as of Friday.

[Related: UMass Memorial preparing for coronavirus surge with nine dedicated units]

The Department of Public Health reported nearly 43,000 tests for the virus, a number increasing by thousands each day as the state works to better gauge how many cases are in the community. The number of tests rose from 39,000 the day before and 8,900 a week ago.

Some medical experts have warned that a relative lack of testing may be masking the true spread of the virus.

"Case counts across the world are a huge underestimate. Maybe 10 times or more," Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar who specializes in infectious diseases at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security in Maryland, said in a webinar with journalists.

[Related: Dire predictions on hospital bed shortages force Central Mass. officials to look at alternatives]

Adalja said 90% of his shifts involved rejecting people from getting tests because there isn't enough capacity, he said.

"We're not there now, in terms of enough testing. It's still pretty hard to get a test," he said.

Nationwide cases now total roughly 157,000, with nearly 2,900 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins. Worldwide cases have surpassed 770,000, with roughly 37,000 deaths.

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