Massachusetts on Sunday reported 11 new deaths from the novel coronavirus and 136 additional cases, a day before the state enters Phase 3 of its reopening process.
As of Sunday, the death toll in Massachusetts stood at 8,183 and the number of COVID-19 cases was at 109,974, according to the Department of Public Health.
It was the lowest number of reported deaths in a day since Tuesday, when none were reported.
The 11 fatalities were sharply lower than the daily average from the previous seven days, which stood at 25. The number of new cases was lower than the daily average of the past week, which stood at 199.
The positive test rate for COVID-19, the number of patients in local hospitals with the disease and the state's testing capacity were all trending in the right direction, health officials said.
Gov. Charlie Baker last week announced the state is moving onto Phase 3 of its reopening plan on Monday.
Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan will go into effect statewide, with the exception of Boston and Somerville -- which will follow on Monday, July 13. Gov. Baker made the announcement on Thursday and warned that Phase 3 poses some risks. Gov. Baker said this will be the last phase of the state’s reopening plan for a while until a vaccine or effective treatment for the coronavirus is available. Then, the state will move onto Phase 4 of reopening.
Phase 3 of Massachusetts Reopening Plan to Begin Monday
Businesses such as movie theaters, gyms, museums and casinos are allowed to reopen in Phase 3. Professional sports can also resume without fans and by following league-safety protocol practices.
The progress in the state stands in contrast to much of the rest of the country, where cases are surging.
Indoor gatherings will be able to top out at 25 people in one room, though no more than eight people can be together in 1,000 square feet. And outdoor gatherings will be able to host 100 people at a time, but no more than 25% of the facility's capacity. This means events such as weddings can resume on Monday with this restrictions.
Johns Hopkins on Sunday counted 45,300 new coronavirus infections reported Saturday in the U.S. after three days in which the daily count reached as high as 54,500 new cases. The lower figure does not mean the situation in the U.S. is improving, it could be due to reduced reporting on a national holiday.
The United States has the most infections and virus-related deaths in the world, with 2.8 million cases and nearly 130,000 dead, according to the university. Experts say the true toll of the pandemic is significantly higher, due to people who died before they were tested and missed mild cases.