Another 113 people have died with the new coronavirus in Massachusetts, health officials said Tuesday, as they also announced 1,296 new cases of the virus.
It's a larger increase in deaths than was reported Monday, but the Department of Public Health said that day-to-day figures vary and don't indicate trends. In total, Massachusetts has now seen 957 deaths related to the new coronavirus and 28,163 cases.
Massachusetts reported the third-most coronavirus cases in the United States as of Tuesday evening, behind only New York and New Jersey and ahead of much more populous states like California and Florida. However, Massachusetts has pushed to test as many people as possible -- over 125,000 as of Tuesday -- which factor into the number testing positive.
By comparison, the Bay State had the fifth-most coronavirus-related deaths as of Tuesday, behind New York, New Jersey, Michigan and Louisiana, according to NBC News' count.
Massachusetts has been bracing for an expected surge in coronavirus cases in mid-to-late April. Gov. Charlie Baker said Friday that data in recent days has suggested the peak may be closer to April 20 and is expected to be around 2,500 new coronavirus cases a day, and he said Tuesday that the data he's seen shows "difficult days ahead."
It was a difficult day in Boston, which saw its first city police officer die of coronavirus complications Tuesday. Officer Jose Fontanez was a 29-year veteran of the force.
The state reported 88 new deaths and 1,392 new cases of the virus on Monday. As many as 172,000 COVID-19 cases are anticipated by the height of the surge.
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Of the state's more than 950 total deaths tied to the coronavirus, 444, or 46%, were reported at long-term care facilities. They have been of special concern, as the elderly are among the most vulnerable populations to COVID-19 and the especially contagious virus has been shown to rip through such facilities.
At the Holyoke Soldiers' Home, a facility for veterans now under federal investigation, 44 people have died since the outbreak began, including four more announced Tuesday. Three of the newly announced deaths were in people who tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total tied to coronavirus to 36, with one person's status unknown.
One hundred more veterans have tested positive for COVID-19, while just 77 have tested negative and four have their test results pending, according to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services.
Middlesex County remains Massachusetts' hardest hit, with over 6,250 cases as of Tuesday. It was followed closely by Suffolk County.
The vast majority of newly reported deaths were of people in their 60s or older, but three were younger, according to the new data, including a woman in her 30s from Worcester County. It wasn't clear if she had any preexisting conditions.