After Massachusetts had its first day without reporting any coronavirus, public health officials announced Wednesday that 28 people with the virus have died and 261 more cases were detected.
The death toll in Massachusetts rose to 8,081 and the number of COVID-19 cases to 109,143, according to the Department of Public Health
Tuesday's announcement of 0 new COVID-19 deaths was "a statistic we haven't seen for quite a while," Gov. Charlie Baker said at a news conference Wednesday. The last time Massachusetts had a day without announcing more deaths was March 21, according to state data, the day after the state's first death.
Tuesday also brought a slight drop in the death toll as public health department cleaned up duplicate data. A representative for the department explained that the lack of new deaths reported Tuesday was not connected to the data cleanup.
Since Massachusetts reported its first death, it became one of the hardest-hit states in the nation. But its rates of infection have fallen since the peak of the surge in mid-April, and its daily updates are now consistently lower, something that's enabled Baker to partially reopen the state.
Nevertheless, on Wednesday he continued to urge residents to remain cautious so the virus doesn't gain a new foothold in Massachusetts, and noted about the more than than 8,000 deaths that have taken place, "far too many families have lost loved ones and far too many friends have lost loved ones to this virus over the course of the past several months."
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
Other states in the Northeast have had their outbreaks ease. Maine officials said on Wednesday they would start exempting residents off New York and New Jersey, the two hardest-hit states, as well as Connecticut, from quarantine and testing rules when traveling to the state.
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.