Massachusetts reported 725 new confirmed coronavirus cases Monday and an additional nine deaths. It's the first day in over a week that the daily case count was under 1,000.
There have now been 9,797 confirmed deaths and 156,385 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, remains at 1.8%, according to the report.
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The number of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 has decreased to 469. Of that number, 96 were listed as being in intensive care units and 50 are intubated, according to DPH.
Since the weekend before last, Massachusetts had reported more than 1,000 coronavirus cases every day, numbers the state hadn't seen since May. However, Monday's reports, which include cases tested over the weekend, have often had lower case counts than other days, and officials have cautioned that a single day's metrics shouldn't be considered a trend.
The Department of Public Health on Monday reorganized its daily COVID-19 dashboard on new cases, testing and other metrics in an attempt to make the publicly released COVID-19 data more useful. Health officials will also begin reporting on case growth by age group and the impact of university testing on broader state trends, Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders said at a State House news conference with Gov. Charlie Baker.
Sudders said the new daily report will also allow researchers and members of the public view trend lines that go back to March and also for the past six weeks.
"As our understanding of the pandemic in the state has evolved, certain data metrics become more useful and other metrics less so when seeking to understand the current impact of COVID on our state," Sudders said.
The separating out of COVID-19 case growth by age coincides with recent warnings from the administration that spread among people under 30 has become more prevalent than among those over 60, which is a reverse from the early days of the pandemic.
Also on Monday, the governor announced a new stay-at-home advisory and mask order along with what amounts to a restaurant curfew.
"The simple truth is this -- too many of us have become complacent in our daily lives. We're doing much better than many other states and many other countries, but here too, we've let down our guard and have work to do," Baker said at a Monday news conference.
Beginning Friday, Nov. 6, residents will be urged to stay home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. except to go to work or the grocery store.
Restaurants will be required to stop providing table service at 9:30 p.m. but can still offer carry out service, Baker said. Liquor sales at restaurants and package stores will also be required to shut down at 9:30 p.m.
Another update requires everyone over the age of five to wear a face-covering in public places, Baker said.
State House News Service contributed to this report.