162 New Coronavirus Cases, 32 More Deaths in Massachusetts

The percentage of coronavirus tests coming back positive, on average, is down slightly to 2.1%, but the number of deaths is the most reported in a single day in a month

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Massachusetts has confirmed that 162 more people have tested positive for the new coronavirus and 32 additional people with the virus have died, health officials said Thursday.

There have now been 8,470 deaths and 111,533 cases reported in the state, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The percentage of coronavirus tests coming back positive, on average, is down slightly to 2.1%, having risen to 2.2% last week from a low of 1.7% last month. (The percentage is weighted over seven days.)

It's the most deaths reported on a single day in a month. There were just two confirmed deaths reported on Wednesday, and nine the day before that.

There are an additional 69 probable cases listed in the department's daily COVID-19 report for Tuesday, adding to a total of 8,341 probable cases that have not yet been confirmed. The report listed no new deaths among the probable cases -- there have been 221 in the state.

(See the COVID-19 hot spots in Massachusetts.)

Massachusetts is in a far better place than it was in the spring, when it had the third-most deaths and cases in the nation, and it's been able to reopen as much as possible before a vaccine or effective treatment is developed. But the higher recent rates of coronavirus tests returning positive have sparked some calls for the state to roll back its reopening plan a step.

Active coronavirus cases in the Bay State are up nearly 25% compared to last week and have been steady or climbing for nearly a month, State House News Service found.

Massachusetts remains in Phase 3 of its reopening plan, but other states have had to step back after experiencing major surges this summer.

How Coronavirus Has Grown in Each State — in 1 Chart

This graph shows how the number of coronavirus cases have grown in Massachusetts, in the context of the other U.S. states, dating to the early days of the pandemic. It shows how many cases have been diagnosed each day in each state since their 500th cases. Select a state from the dropdown to highlight its track.

Source: The COVID Tracking Project
Credit: Amy O’Kruk/NBC

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

NBC/Associated Press
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