coronavirus

Mass. Reports 1,629 More COVID Cases, 27 New Deaths

There have now been 9,836 confirmed deaths and 158,937 cases, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health

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Massachusetts reported 1,629 new confirmed coronavirus cases Wednesday and an additional 27 deaths. It's a return to last week's levels after a few days under 1,000.

There have now been 9,836 confirmed deaths and 158,937 cases, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Another 226 deaths are considered probably linked to COVID-19.

The percentage of coronavirus tests coming back positive, on average, has ticked up to 1.9%, according to the report.

The number of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 has increased to 502. Of that number, 109 were listed as being in intensive care units and 55 are intubated, according to DPH.

Even though the city of Boston's coronavirus test positivity rate fell to 7.2% for the week ending last Friday, down from 8% the prior week, residents should not be lulled into thinking the current outbreak is under control, Mayor Marty Walsh said Wednesday.

"That's good to see but it's too soon to say that we stopped the trend," Walsh said at a City Hall news conference. "Our numbers continue to be higher than what we need them to be in Boston, and hospitals have been seeing more activity. Those are the realities we have to address."

He urged residents to follow new guidelines issued by Gov. Charlie Baker earlier this week, including wearing masks whenever in public, staying at home after 10 p.m. except for essential activities including work, and avoiding large gatherings.

While the new regulations may hurt restaurants and other businesses, they could prevent worse long-term consequences.

"If we don't get the virus under control, and we don't stop this trend of increase in positivity rate, we'll be in a far worse situation in a few week or months," he said. "I'll be standing here talking about shutting everything down and we don't want to be doing that."

Walsh reminded restaurants that they could contact the city's small business office for help in setting up takeout and delivery operations and for protective equipment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

NBC10 Boston and Associated Press
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