Another 18 people with the new coronavirus have died in Massachusetts, health officials said Wednesday, and 192 more cases were confirmed.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has now confirmed 8,249 deaths and 107,413 cases.
There are an additional 95 probable cases listed in the department's daily COVID-19 report for Tuesday, adding to a total of 6,907 probable cases that have not yet been confirmed. The report listed no deaths among the probable cases -- there have been 219 in the state.
The Department of Public Health this month 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.
But Gov. Charlie Baker said Wednesday that more young people appear to be diagnosed with COVID-19 at higher rates in Massachusetts, something other states have been seeing. Other states, which have been contending with major new outbreaks, have been seeing that as well.
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
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.