coronavirus

Confirmed Coronavirus Cases Top 118,000 in Mass.; 12 New Deaths Reported

There have now been 118,309 cases and 8,803 confirmed deaths, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

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The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Massachusetts has surpassed 118,000, as health officials reported 421 new cases Saturday and an additional 12 deaths.

There have now been 118,309 cases and 8,803 confirmed deaths, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The total number of coronavirus deaths in the daily COVID-19 report, however, is listed as 9,036, which would indicate there are 233 more deaths that are considered probable at this time.

As of Saturday, the death toll in the United States has surpassed 183,500, with more than 5.9 million cases of the coronavirus reported nationwide, according to a tally from NBC News.

Of the 421 new cases announced Saturday in Massachusetts, 99 were reported in Middlesex County and 89 were reported in Suffolk County, which includes Boston where East Boston has emerged as a hot spot for coronavirus in the city. Mayor Marty Walsh said Wednesday the city will step up its outreach, reminding residents and businesses in the neighborhood to take the necessary precautions. The city has not ruled out restrictions like a curfew for East Boston.

East Boston is one of many communities dealing with a surge in coronavirus cases.

Starting Saturday, residents in the Bay State are now able to travel to four more low-risk states without quarantining when they return, according to Massachusetts' COVID-19 travel order page.

Those new states are Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia and Colorado. Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Vermont were already on the list with average daily case counts below 6 per 100,000 people and with tests coming back positive on average below 5%.

The only New England state not on the list is Rhode Island.

In Massachusetts, the pandemic is still taking a toll on the state's economy, as at least 2,200 furloughs and permanent layoffs have been announced in the last two days.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst, which is staring down a $169 million projected budget deficit, has announced plans to put 850 workers on indefinite furlough starting Sept. 13. The furloughs affect 12% of the campus's employees.

Other major furloughs are planned at Cape Cod Healthcare and MGM Springfield, which is laying off around 1,000 employees due to ongoing struggles amid the pandemic.

Encore Boston Harbor also announced layoffs on Saturday, saying it has been operating with a significantly reduced capacity given the state's continued efforts to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

The Everett casino said it does not believe that all Encore Boston Harbor jobs will return in 2020 "during these extraordinary conditions." As a result, the casino has decided to make the "difficult decision" to transition some currently furloughed jobs to lay-off status, effective Sept. 1.

Casino security and state troopers broke up a large party in a private suite at Encore Boston Harbor in Everett.
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