Massachusetts' official coronavirus death toll rose by 21 Friday as 216 new cases were confirmed, health officials said.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has now confirmed 8,184 deaths and 106,487 cases.
There are an additional 82 probable cases listed in the department's daily COVID-19 report for Friday, adding to a total of 6,392 probable cases that have not yet been confirmed. The report also listed one death among the probable cases -- there have been 218 in the state.
The Department of Public Health last week changed how it reports coronavirus deaths, separating confirmed and probable cases after it had earlier combined them. The move was made to improve how the report is read, bringing it 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.
Gov. Charlie Baker addressed that Friday at a news conference: "Across all those measures that we track, our numbers have gotten better, which is a little different than what's going on in other places. I think that's because we took a very cautious and careful approach."
How Coronavirus Has Grown in Each State — in 1 Chart
This graph shows how the number of coronavirus cases have grown in Massachusetts, in the context of the other U.S. states, dating to the early days of the pandemic. It shows how many cases have been diagnosed each day in each state since their 500th cases. Select a state from the dropdown to highlight its track.
Source: The COVID Tracking Project
Credit: Amy O’Kruk/NBC
With a few exceptions, Massachusetts is now in Phase 3, the final step in its reopening 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.
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.