Coronavirus Death Toll Tops 2,000 People in Massachusetts

Massachusetts remains one of the hardest-hit states in the nation

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The death toll from the new coronavirus has topped 2,000 in Massachusetts as health officials reported 221 more cases Wednesday.

The total stands at 2,182. The total number of positive cases reached 42,944 after another 1,745 people tested positive, according to the daily release from the Department of Public Health.

Gov. Charlie Baker, in a COVID-19 update, announces an increase in testing, new field hospitals, and over 5.3 million pieces of PPE delivered to heath care facilities.

Massachusetts remains one of the hardest-hit states in the nation. Only three other states had higher death tolls as of 3 p.m., according to NBC News' count: New York, New Jersey and Michigan.

But Gov. Charlie Baker had some good news Wednesday: the state is starting to see encouraging signs that the coronavirus surge may have plateaued, though more data is needed to confirm it.

He has also said that Massachusetts' rigorous testing regimen, which has tested among the most people per capita in the U.S., may have uncovered more cases and coronavirus-related deaths.

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While Middlesex County has the most deaths in Massachusetts, with 494, Hampden County has its highest death rate, 57 per 100,000 residents. That's followed by Norfolk (44 per 100,000), Franklin (42 per 100,000) and Suffolk counties.

Middlesex County continues to have the most coronavirus cases, with 10,094, followed by Suffolk at 9,060, Essex at 5,783 and Norfolk at 4,212. But Suffolk County leads the way in terms of cases per capita, with 1,115 cases per 100,000 residents. No other county has more than 725 cases per 100,000.

More than 180,000 total tests have been performed in the state.

Most of the deaths reported so far in Massachusetts are in patients 80 years old or older. The average age of those who have died from the coronavirus is 82.

And more than half of the people who have died lived in long-term care facilities.

The Baker administration is pressing pause on part of its program to provide coronvirus tests at nursing homes.

Nearly 98% of those who died had underlying conditions, and most had been hospitalized.

The average age of all of the state's coronavirus cases is 54, and there are more patients in their 50s than in any other age group. But among the 3,977 patients in the hospital, the average age is 68.

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