coronavirus

Massachusetts Has 82 New Coronavirus Deaths, More Than 90,000 Cases

While the death toll and number of confirmed cases are rising more slowly, both Gov. Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh on Thursday cautioned that the fight against the virus will last for a long time

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Massachusetts health officials reported 82 new deaths in people with the new coronavirus and 1,114 more confirmed cases on Thursday.

That brings the number of people to have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, over 90,000, according to the Department of Public Health. COVID-19 has been detected in a total of 6,148 people who've died in Massachusetts as well.

The number of deaths reported each day have been lower than this time last month, when the state was experiencing its surge in coronavirus cases. On Wednesday, health officials reported 128 deaths, but, before that, the death toll rose by fewer than 100 people for three days straight.

While the death toll and number of confirmed cases are rising more slowly, both Gov. Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh on Thursday cautioned that the fight against the virus will last for a long time, and urged residents not to get complacent.

"The difficulty is making really big decisions with big consequences with something we're still learning about. That's why we're pursuing such a slow go and slow roll of reopening, and why we waited until we met a bunch of key criteria before we went there," Baker said in a radio interview.

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.

As was the case the past few days, none of the six indicators was trending negatively Thursday, and two were trending positively: the positive test rate and the testing capacity. All of the other four metrics were rated "in progress," the intermediate metric.

Massachusetts has for weeks been one of the epicenters of COVID-19 in the U.S. It has the fourth-most cases among all states and third-most deaths.

Baker and other health officials have said Massachusetts' high tallies may be due to the state testing among the most residents per capita in the country -- just over 500,000 tests have been conducted as of Thursday, according to the Department of Public Health.

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