Mass. Reports 169 More Coronavirus Deaths, Nearly 1,600 New Cases

The new figures from the Department of Public Health brought the state's death toll to 2,899

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Massachusetts health officials on Sunday reported 169 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, bringing the state's death toll from the outbreak to 2,899.

According to the Department of Public Health, the number of coronavirus cases in the state rose by 1,590, bringing the total number of people infected with COVID-19 to 54,938.

Despite the increases, 17% of the test results released Sunday were positive, marking the lowest percentage of positive tests in about a month. In contrast, on Wednesday, 34% of tests came back positive.

It also marked the third consecutive day the state has reported a decline in new cases compared to the previous day, though officials have warned against reading into daily numbers.

Officials are keeping a keen eye on the number of cases and fatalities reported daily, as the data is seen as a way to gauge when and how to safely reopen the economy.

The head of Boston Public Schools is beginning to plan for summer school as the city continues to provide daily resources for students learning remotely during the new coronavirus pandemic.

Middlesex County continues to have the most cases, with 12,648, followed by Suffolk County with 11,543. Those are followed by Norfolk (5,288), Worcester (4,572) and Plymouth (4,495) counties. Suffolk County has the highest prevalence of cases, with 1,421 cases per 100,000.

Middlesex County also has the most deaths from coronavirus at 670, but Hampden County has the highest death rate, recording 69 deaths per 100,000.

Of the state's deaths, 1632, or around 56%, have been associated with long-term care facilities.

Coronavirus Infection Rates in Mass. Cities and Towns

Baker has yet to announce a decision about whether Massachusetts can begin to reopen starting May 4, when the current stay-at-home order is currently set to expire.

The governor said Saturday the state remains in a period of surging cases and added he wants to see a strong downward trend in new hospitalizations or people testing positive before reopening the economy.

When he does, Baker said there will be guidelines in place and that masks and face-coverings will likely "be a big part" of the rules.

While Gov. Charlie Baker remained noncommittal on Saturday about whether Massachusetts' stay-at-home order will be lifted May 4, he said he believes people will still need to wear masks and face-coverings in public once it is..

Friday's coronavirus report from the DPH showed a massive increase in people who tested positive for the virus, which was due in part to a reporting error from Quest Diagnostics, a commercial lab that has been partnering with Massachusetts in its push to dramatically increase testing.

Baker addressed the error, saying that the delay in reporting was only to states, not to the people who tested positive themselves, and emphasized that they've been doing a "terrific job" on issues the state is working on.

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