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Cambridge-Based Company Biogen Confirms 3 Cases of Coronavirus

Biogen is located in Kendall Square.
Biogen is located in Kendall Square. By Shera S. Avi-Yonah
By Fiona K. Brennan, Crimson Staff Writer

Kendall Square-based company Biogen said Thursday that three of its employees have tested positive for COVID-19.

A spokesperson for the company told the Boston Globe that none of the three employees live in Massachusetts, but all attended a management meeting at a Boston hotel on Feb. 26 and 27 with about 175 of their co-workers.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie D. Baker ’79 said he believes one of the people who attended the Biogen meeting is a Tennessee man who flew into Logan International Airport before testing positive for the coronavirus.

According to a company statement, the individuals with coronavirus are “doing well, improving and under the care of their healthcare providers.”

Other people who attended the conference reported flu-like symptoms, and some have been diagnosed with influenza, according to a local NBC affiliate.

Biogen advised employees who attended the meeting to stay home from work until March 16 regardless of whether or not they had symptoms. The company also said it would implement further precautions, including restricting travel through the end of March.

As of Thursday evening, authorities confirmed over 98,300 cases of coronavirus and 3,377 reported deaths across the globe. There are currently 215 recorded cases in the United States and 14 deaths, all in Washington state.

Baker told the Globe in a statement that coronavirus still poses a “relatively low risk” in Massachusetts despite the recently reported cases.

He added that authorities will implement additional precautions at Logan Airport based on Centers for Disease Control guidance, but that domestic travel is still “appropriate.”

At Harvard, University administrators discouraged all non-essential travel and prohibited University-related travel to countries with a Level 3 Travel Warning from the CDC in response to the virus. They also plan to send biweekly emails to update Harvard affiliates as the outbreak evolves.

—Staff writer Fiona K. Brennan can be reached at fiona.brennan@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @FionaBrennan23.

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