Mass. Sees 132 More Coronavirus Deaths, 1,696 More Confirmed Cases

The rise in the death toll is lower than Wednesday's

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Massachusetts has had another 132 people with the coronavirus die, public health officials said Thursday, while 1,696 more tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health said the death toll stands at 4,552 people, while a total of 73,721 have now tested positive for the virus.

Thursday's report was being watched closely after the previous day's saw a spike in deaths -- 208, much higher than was being reported on previous days -- and the number of tests that came back positive.

"Yesterday's numbers are evidence that despite some signs of trending in a positive direction, we still have a lot of work to do," Gov. Charlie Baker said at his Thursday news briefing, while urging people not to make broad generalizations from single-day figures.

Baker is tracking key statistics as a gauge of whether he can begin reopening Massachusetts by May 18.

Massachusetts is one of the epicenters of COVID-19 in the U.S., with the third-most cases and fourth-most fatalities among all states. Baker and other health officials have said that may be due in part to a strong commitment to testing -- more than 350,000 tests had been conducted as of Thursday, according to the Department of Health.

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