coronavirus

Mass. Coronavirus Death Toll Rises by 28 as 213 More Cases Are Reported

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The coronavirus pandemic claimed another 28 lives in Massachusetts, health officials said Friday, reporting 213 new infections, including confirmed and probable cases.

Of those deaths, all are in people with confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. And 152 of the newly reported cases are confirmed, with the remaining 61 listed as probable.

The state's total death toll stands at 8,296 (8,081 of them confirmed) and the total number of COVID-19 cases detected at 111,110 (105,290 confirmed), according to the Department of Public Health's latest daily report.

The Department of Public Health on Monday changed how it reports coronavirus deaths, separating confirmed and probable cases after it had combined them. The move was made to improve how it is read, bringing its report 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.

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.

Boston is set to enter Phase 3 this coming Monday, and Mayor Marty Walsh said Friday that the city is ready to reopen "with both caution and confidence."

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

Once an epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, Massachusetts, it's dropped from having the third most cases to the eight most, as it was overtaken by states like Texas, Arizona and Florida. They're now in the midst of their own major outbreaks.

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.

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