Mass. Confirms 3,957 New Coronavirus Cases, 87 More Deaths

There have now been 495,599 confirmed cases and 14,241 deaths, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Another 290 deaths are considered probably linked to COVID-19.

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The number of newly confirmed coronavirus deaths in Massachusetts rose by 87 on Saturday, pushing the state's confirmed COVID-19 death toll to 14,241 since the start of the pandemic, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

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

The number of newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 increased by 3,957, and its confirmed caseload rose to 495,599, the DPH reported.

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

There were fewer than 1,800 people reported hospitalized Saturday because of confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 393 in intensive care units and 239 patients intubated.

There were an estimated nearly 73,000 people with current active cases of COVID-19 in the state.

People trying to get vaccination appointments in Massachusetts are encountering hurdles.

A group of more than 100 lawmakers who asked Gov. Charlie Baker two weeks ago to prioritize funeral home workers for COVID-19 vaccines say they are frustrated that they have yet to hear back from the administration.

"I'm very stunned there has been no reply,'' state Rep. Sally Kerans, D-Danvers, told The Telegram & Gazette.

Funeral workers, she said, are the only "COVID-facing'' professionals left off the state's phase one vaccination list.

"I can't help, but think there's a bias toward end-of-life care somewhere in the administration,'' said C.R. Lyons, president of the Massachusetts Funeral Directors Association.

Funeral workers often have to travel to high-risk areas of nursing homes and hospitals to collect virus victims. There have been a number of situations where smaller funeral homes have had to "essentially shut down,'' following outbreaks among staff, Lyons said.

A spokesperson for the state COVID-19 Command Center in a statement last week said the current vaccine distribution plan is based on the recommendations of an advisory group made up of health professionals, community leaders and local officials.

U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch's office announced Friday that the Massachusetts Democrat has tested positive for COVID-19 despite having received a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine and later obtaining a negative test result before attending President Joe Biden's inauguration.

Lynch's test result came after a staff member in his Boston office tested positive earlier in the week. An aide to Lynch said he remains asymptomatic and feels fine. Lynch, who represents the state's 8th Congressional District, will self-quarantine and vote by proxy during the coming week.

On Thursday, fellow Massachusetts Democratic Rep. U.S. Lori Trahan also announced she tested positive.

NBC10 Boston/The Associated Press
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