Another 15 people with the new coronavirus have died in Massachusetts and 199 new infections have been detected, including confirmed and probable cases, state health officials said Sunday.
Of those deaths, all are in people with confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. And 172 of the newly reported cases are confirmed, with the remaining 27 listed as probable.
The state's total death toll stands at 8,325 (8,110 of them confirmed) and the total number of COVID-19 cases detected at 111,597 (105,629 confirmed), according to the Department of Public Health's latest daily report.
The Department of Public Health on Monday changed how it reports coronavirus deaths, separating confirmed and probable cases after it had combined them. The move was made to improve how it is read, bringing its report more in line with other states, for users including organizations that aggregate states' COVID-19 data, the department said.
Massachusetts' coronavirus outbreak is much less severe than it was in mid-April, at the height of the virus' surge. Closely watched metrics like how many coronavirus tests are coming back positive and the average number of hospital patients with COVID-19 remain roughly 90% lower.
Massachusetts -- once an epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States -- has dropped from having the third most cases to the eight most, as it was overtaken by states like Texas, Arizona and Florida. They're now in the midst of their own major outbreaks.
How Coronavirus Has Grown in Each State — in 1 Chart
New York quickly became the epicenter of the American coronavirus outbreak, along with New Jersey. Only those states had more cases than Massachusetts early on in the pandemic. But after more time passed, all three found stability while others spiked to higher case counts.
Source: The COVID Tracking Project
Credit: Amy O’Kruk/NBC
Florida on Sunday reported the largest single-day increase in positive coronavirus cases in any one state since the beginning of the pandemic. Health officials there said Sunday that 15,299 new people had tested positive for COVID-19.
The virus has killed more than 130,000 people in the US and a half-million worldwide.
The top official coordinating the Trump administration's COVID-19 testing said on Sunday that America does not need another large-scale shutdown to contain the surging coronavirus pandemic.
Steps like closing bars and wearing masks could have the same impact as widespread economic shutdowns, Adm. Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services, said Sunday.
Bars in Massachusetts cannot reopen until Phase 4 of the state's reopening plan. Right now, with a few exceptions, Massachusetts is in Phase 3, the final step in its plan before the so-called "new normal" is reached, when a vaccine or effective treatment will allow all COVID-19 restrictions to be eased.
The state has been slowly reopening for months, monitoring for any outbreaks that would risk the progress made so far.
Most Massachusetts cities and towns entered Phase 3 on July 6, with Boston set to enter Phase 3 on Monday.
Mayor Marty Walsh said Friday that the city is ready to reopen "with both caution and confidence," and that the city took an extra week due to unique concerns.
Industry specific guidelines have been developed for indoor fitness centers and health clubs, museums, guided tours and cultural and historical facilities and outdoor events.
Somerville had also planned to enter Phase 3 on Monday but announced Friday it will delay entering the third phase until July 20.
Mayor Joe Curtatone said, "We're not going to rush reopening."
Somerville is the most densely populated city in New England, which is why Mayor Curtatone said they need to take a more cautious approach than the rest of the state.
The six indicators informing how fast Massachusetts can move through the four phases of reopening the state are: the COVID-19 positive test rate, the number of individuals who died from COVID-19, the number of patients with COVID-19 in hospitals, the health care system's readiness, testing capacity, contact tracing capabilities. Their statuses have held steady, with half in a positive trend and half "in progress" since June 5.