Massachusetts health officials on Sunday reported 12 more deaths from the coronavirus and 218 new confirmed cases.
This brings the overall death toll to 8,213, with 106,882 total cases, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
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Another 78 probable cases were included in the state's daily COVID-19 listing Sunday, meaning a total of 6,652 probable cases have yet to be confirmed. There were no new deaths among the probable cases reported.
The Mass. Department of Public Health changed how it reports coronavirus deaths last week, bringing them closer in line with other states. Confirmed and probable cases are now separate figures, where for months prior they had been combined. The move also sought to improve the ease of reading the report and allowing organizations to aggregate data, the department said.
The 12 new deaths were lower than the daily average of the previous seven days, which stood at 15. The 218 new cases were higher then the daily average of the previous week, which was 172.
Massachusetts has seen substantial gains in its handling of the coronavirus outbreak since mid-April, the current apex of the virus' surge in the Commonwealth.
The three-day average number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients fell to 504 — an 86% decline since mid-April. The number of new patients admitted to the hospital in Massachusetts for confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 has remained relatively steady for the past few weeks, with 262 total on Sunday.
In a press conference Friday, Gov. Charlie Baker emphasized that the state is continuing to move forward cautiously through reopening stages. "We worked to develop very particular protocols across every industry that's been allowed to move forward since we got started and we're going to continue to watch the public health metrics, pay attention to the data and only move forward if we continue to see positive developments on the stuff that's out there."
The situation in Massachusetts stands in stark contrast with other parts of the country that are seeing spikes in cases.
Several US states have been reporting record numbers of COVID-19 this week, contributing to a surge in the national death rate. The seven-day rolling average for daily new deaths has risen 34% from two weeks ago, while the case count in that period shot up 43%.