Massachusetts on Sunday reported 1,013 new cases from the novel coronavirus outbreak, including 68 fatalities.
The latest report from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health brought the total number of coronavirus deaths in the state to 6,372 and the total people who have tested positive to 92,675.
While the number of new cases was higher than the previous week's daily average of 961, the number of deaths reported Sunday was lower than the previous week's average of around 85 deaths per day.
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The total numbers of fatalities and infections continue to rise, but they've been doing so more slowly in the last few weeks than this time in April, a sign that the state has flattened the curve.
Other metrics have been showing promising signs as well -- the state on Thursday received its 500,000th coronavirus test result -- but Gov. Charlie Baker urged Massachusetts residents on Friday not to give up all the gains they've made by gathering this Memorial Day weekend without taking adequate precautions, like wearing face masks and staying physically and socially distant from others, even family and friends.
The Department of Public Health's report contains six indicators that are informing how fast Massachusetts can move through the four phases of its reopening plan. They 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.
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While the rate of positive tests stayed the same at 9.1%, the three-day average of number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital fell by 76 to 2,243 amid a steady downward trend that shows a lessening burden on the health care system.
Middlesex County, the most populous county in Massachusetts, continued to have the most deaths from the virus at 1,518. Hampden County continues to have the most deaths per capita, 114 per 100,000 residents.
The numbers come as the state moves to slowly open its economy amid the pandemic.
Under the first phase of Baker's reopening plan, manufacturing, construction and worship services were allowed to resume last week. On Monday, some businesses, including salons and pet groomers, will be allowed to reopen to customers, as will parks and beaches.
Despite the resumption of some activities, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh on Sunday warned residents to expect to practice social distancing for at least another six to eight months.
In an NBC10 Boston interview, Walsh said he had no plan to lift the city's stay-at-home advisory, despite the Baker administration moving to Phase 1 of the reopening plan.
"Now's not the time to ease restrictions on individuals, meaning individuals shouldn't be easing restrictions on themselves for the foreseeable future, for the next six, eight months," he said.
He added: "If we don’t pay attention and stay disciplined, we’re going to see a second surge and that may be worst than the first one."