Massachusetts reported 2,982 new confirmed coronavirus cases and an additional 74 deaths on Friday, when the number of estimated active cases dipped below 60,000.
There have now been 510,148 confirmed cases and 14,563 deaths, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Another 296 deaths are considered probably linked to COVID-19.
Generally, Massachusetts' coronavirus metrics have been trending down, according to the Department of Public Health's interactive coronavirus dashboard, with the average number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths peaking in the second week of January. The testing rate peaked Jan. 1. The figures reported daily are important for tracking trends with the virus' spread, though a single-day change may not reflect a larger trend, and may reflect incomplete data.
The percentage of coronavirus tests coming back positive, on average, decreased to 3.16% from 3.29% the previous day, the department said Friday.
The number of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 has dropped to 1,503. Of that number, 322 were listed as being in intensive care units and 196 were intubated, according to health officials.
The number of estimated active cases dropped to 59,934 on Friday, from 61,864 on Thursday.
Also Friday, the Baker administration launched a hotline to help Massachusetts residents 75 and older make appointments for COVID-19 vaccine shots, amid intense scrutiny over the state's vaccination rollout.
The call center, announced by Gov. Charlie Baker during a press conference, can be reached by dialing 211 and aims to help senior citizens who have trouble accessing the state vaccination website.