Kraft secures COVID-19 protective gear from China
Kraft secures COVID-19 protective gear from China

BOSTON – Usually when all eyes in Massachusetts are on the skies to see the New England Patriots plane touch down it’s because it’s carrying another Lombardi Trophy back from the Super Bowl.

But on Thursday afternoon, the Pats plane is expected to land at Logan with more than 1 million N95 masks for Massachusetts health care workers to protect themselves as they care for COVID-19 patients and fight the coronavirus pandemic. The shipment of personal protective equipment is the result of a weeks-long quest and the work of Gov. Charlie Baker and the Kraft family.

“No days off. Thanks to some serious teamwork, Massachusetts is set to receive over 1 million N95 masks for our front-line workers. Huge thanks to the Krafts and several dedicated partners for making this happen,” Baker tweeted Thursday morning.

The governor will provide an update on the coronavirus situation at 1 p.m. from the State House, and he is expected to greet the Patriots plane when it lands sometime Thursday afternoon. The House and Senate plan sessions at 11 a.m. Thursday.

On Wednesday, the Department of Public Health reported that the COVID-19 death count had climbed to 122 in Massachusetts, with 7,738 confirmed cases of the highly-contagious virus. Meanwhile, more than 5,000 people are officially under quarantine in the Bay State while they’re monitored for symptoms.

New unemployment claims in Massachusetts and nationally spiked again last week after surging to record levels a week earlier.

In Massachusetts, 181,062 people filed initial claims during the week ending March 28, according to advance non-seasonally adjusted data the Department of Labor published Thursday. The new figures surpass the stunning increase observed last week.

This is a developing story