Mass. Reports 19 New Coronavirus Deaths, 273 Additional Cases

The data comes as officials urge residents to continue to practice social distancing and wear masks amid a stretch of hot weather.

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Massachusetts health officials reported 19 new deaths and 273 additional confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Sunday.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has now confirmed 8,310 deaths and 108,380 cases of COVID-19 since the outbreak began.

The number of new deaths was higher than the daily average of the previous seven days, which stood at nearly 13. The number of new cases was higher than the daily average of the past week, which stood at around 206.

There are an additional 96 probable cases listed in the department's daily COVID-19 report for Sunday, adding to a total of 7,257probable cases that have not yet been confirmed. The report listed no deaths among the probable cases -- there have been 219 in the state.

The data comes as officials urge residents to continue to practice social distancing and wear masks amid a stretch of hot weather.

On Saturday, a photo of a seemingly-crowded cruise ship on Boston Harbor Saturday evening prompted questions on social media.

The image showed the Provincetown II, a three-deck vessel run by the Bay State Cruise Company, preparing to depart for a 7 to 9:30 p.m. harbor cruise, according to the company.

The company, however, said the cruise sailed at just 33 percent capacity, falling within the company’s COVID-19 operating limits of 44 percent capacity and allowing enough space for social distancing provided all passengers spaces on the ship are utilized.

Elsewhere, pop-up testing sites have been made available after at least 13 people tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, after attending a July 21 house party in Chatham, according to town officials.

Between 30 and 50 people, who work together in the restaurant industry, attended the party and were apparently not wearing masks, town officials said.

MIke Pence, who heads the White House's Coronavirus Task Force, praised Gov. Charlie Baker's efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, which has among the highest death tolls from the virus in the nation, at more than 8,200.

Also last week, Gov. Charlie Baker announced strict new travel restrictions to control spread of the virus, including mandating anyone traveling to the state from outside the Northeast or Hawaii to self-quarantine for 14 days or show they've tested negative for the virus.

"Every traveler coming into Massachusetts, no matter where they're from, has a responsibility to help keep COVID-19 out of the Commonwealth," Baker said.

Massachusetts has been among the hardest hit states for the virus, with nearly 8,300 recorded deaths and more than 108,000 total confirmed cases since the pandemic started.

How Coronavirus Has Grown in Each State — in 1 Chart

This graph shows how the number of coronavirus cases have grown in Massachusetts, in the context of the other U.S. states, dating to the early days of the pandemic. It shows how many cases have been diagnosed each day in each state since their 500th cases. Select a state from the dropdown to highlight its track.

Source: The COVID Tracking Project
Credit: Amy O’Kruk/NBC

With a few exceptions, including Somerville, 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.

Chatham town officials say between 30-50 guests attended a house party without masks, and at least 13 of them later tested positive for coronavirus.

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.

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.

NBC10 Boston and the Associated Press
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