Coronavirus Death Toll Tops 9,000 in Mass. With 14 New Deaths Reported Sunday

There have now been 9,001 confirmed deaths and 122,904 cases, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

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The death toll from the novel coronavirus in Massachusetts surpassed 9,000 Sunday as health officials reported 14 new deaths.

Officials also announced 267 new cases of the virus, as the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 closes in on 123,000.

There have now been 9,001 confirmed deaths and 122,904 cases, according to the state's Department of Public Health. A key measure of how successful the state is in fighting the disease -- the average positive test rate -- remains low at 0.8%.

The total number of coronavirus deaths in the daily COVID-19 report, however, is listed as 9,210, which would indicate there are 209 more deaths that are considered probable at this time.

An additional 19 cases of the virus were listed as probable in Sunday’s report, contributing to 1,922 probable cases overall.

A Massachusetts high school scheduled to reopen this week with a hybrid learning model will now switch to remote-only learning after dozens of students attended a party without taking proper coronavirus-prevention measures, the principal said.

The party held Friday night involved alcohol and a "complete lack of safety precautions to protect against the spread of COVID," Lincoln-Sudbury Principal Bella Wong said in a letter to the school community.

Police who broke up the gathering said about 15 students ran into the woods, and 13 gave fake names to officers, she said. Because it's not clear exactly who attended the party, the Sudbury Board of Health is mandating that all high school students must undergo full remote learning for 14 days.

"After the intensity of hard work and planning that has been done to be able to start school with students in-person, we are profoundly disappointed at this sudden change of plans," she wrote. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned Friday that daily life in the U.S. may not get back to normal until late 2021, when potentially a vaccine could be widely distributed.

The warning comes as the U.S. approaches 200,000 coronavirus deaths. COVID-19 has so far killed more than 920,000 globally, according to Johns Hopkins University data on Sunday.

More cities and towns in Massachusetts have been added to the red risk category for coronavirus.

Massachusetts is no longer allowing quarantine-free travel from three states -- Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia -- that were only recently declared to be of low risk.

It was two weeks ago when the Department of Public Health allowed quarantine-free travel to those three states, plus Colorado, adding them to the list of low-risk states where travelers can come from without quarantining upon arrival in the Bay State.

Now, travelers coming from those states will once again be required to quarantine.

Meanwhile, New Mexico was added to the low-risk list -- also effective Saturday -- joining Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and Wyoming.

Rhode Island remains the only New England state not on the list.

Travelers from states not on the low-risk list must fill out the Massachusetts Travel Form and quarantine for 14 days, according to the state's guidelines. That includes anyone who's coming from one of the low-risk states but stayed "for more than a transitory period of time in the last 14 days" in a higher-risk state.

NBC10 Boston and the Associated Press
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