coronavirus cases

320 New Coronavirus Cases, 18 More Deaths in Massachusetts

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Another 320 people have tested positive for the new coronavirus and 18 more people with the virus have died, Massachusetts health officials said Friday.

There have now been 8,488 deaths and 111,853 cases reported in the state, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

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The percentage of coronavirus tests coming back positive, on average, is down slightly to 1.9%, having risen to 2.2% last week from a low of 1.7% last month.

There are an additional 97 probable cases listed in the department's daily COVID-19 report, adding to a total of 8,438 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.)

Friday's numbers come hours after Gov. Charlie Baker paused the second step of Phase 3 in the state's reopening plan due to the recent uptick in cases.

Effective Tuesday, limits on outdoor gatherings will decrease from 100 to 50 and state and local police will be authorized to enforce orders, even if on private property, Baker said. Violators of gathering limits will be subject to fines.

The limits on indoor gatherings will remain at 25, Baker said, but restaurant guidance will be updated to make clear that alcohol may only be served for on-site consumption if it is accompanied by food prepared on-site.

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