Mass. Confirms 2,546 New Coronavirus Cases as State Nears 500K Caseload Mark

There have now been 498,145 confirmed cases and 14,287 deaths, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

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Massachusetts is nearing the half million mark for confirmed coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic. On Sunday, the number of newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 increased by 2,546, and its confirmed caseload rose to 498,145, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

The number of newly confirmed coronavirus deaths in Massachusetts rose by 46 on Sunday, pushing the state's confirmed COVID-19 death toll to 14,287, the DPH reported.

Another 290 deaths are considered probably linked to COVID-19.

The true number of cases is likely higher because studies suggest some people can be infected and not feel sick.

The number of people hospitalized continues to decrease, however, with fewer than 1,700 people reported hospitalized Sunday because of confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of those, 371 are in intensive care units and 231 patients are intubated -- both lower marks than Saturday's report.

Mass. General Brigham has launched a fleet of community health vans that not only offer free COVID testing, but also care kits as well as information on how to stop the spread.

The estimated number of current active cases of COVID-19 in the state has continued to drop, as well, with 71,948 currently active, as of Sunday's report.

The new numbers come as Boston businesses like gyms, movie theaters, museums and sight-seeing harbor cruises are set to resume Monday under the city's coronavirus pandemic reopening plan.

The businesses can reopen, following a 25% capacity limit, given the improvement in the number of COVID-19 cases and in the city's positivity rate.

Movie theaters, gyms and other businesses in Boston will be allowed to reopen starting Monday.

Other sites include aquariums, indoor recreational venues with the potential for low contact, such as batting cages and bowling alleys, and gaming arcades.

"While there has been some improvement in recent weeks, it's still vital that everyone remains vigilant,'' Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement last week.

Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone also announced that the City of Somerville will return to a limited Phase 3, Step 1 on Monday.

Certain businesses, including fitness clubs, gyms and dance facilities, may once again open in Somerville on Monday, Feb. 1, the same day that related rollbacks will end in Boston, and one week after early closing requirements were lifted statewide by Gov. Charlie Baker.

“This statewide and local easing of restrictions is informed by declining case and hospitalization rates in the Commonwealth and region,” said Doug Kress, Director of Health and Human Services. “The COVID-19 threat however remains concerning. All community members are still urged to keep sticking with the safety measures. Always wear a face mask, made of two or more layers, when in public over both your nose and mouth. Stay at least 6 feet away from others. Don’t share your air: avoid crowded indoor spaces, and always wash or sanitize your hands often, don’t touch your face, and if you feel unwell, stay home and ask your healthcare provider if you should be tested for COVID-19.”

NBC10 Boston/The Associated Press
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