coronavirus

Massachusetts Tops 7,500 Coronavirus Deaths

For months, Massachusetts has been one of the epicenters of COVID-19 in the U.S.

NBC Universal, Inc.

The death toll inflicted by the new coronavirus in Massachusetts rose above 7,500 people on Friday, health officials reported.

There were 46 new deaths in Friday's report from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, bringing the total to 7,538. And testing detected 392 more cases, bringing the total number of people who have been infected to 105,059.

Those daily numbers are far lower than what the state was experiencing at the height of the coronavirus surge. Deaths are down, on average, 78% since April 15 and the share of tests that are coming back positive every day is down 88% since then, on average.

The six indicators informing how fast Massachusetts can move through the four phases of reopening the state 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.

Half of them are trending in a positive direction as of Friday, unchanged over the last week.

While the progress evident in the public health data has allowed Massachusetts to move to Phase 2 of its reopening plan, Gov. Charlie Baker has said it won't be able to go to the final phase, number four, until a vaccine is discovered.

Baker and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar toured Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's vaccination operations Friday.

For months, Massachusetts has been one of the epicenters of COVID-19 in the U.S. It has the fifth-most cases among all states and the third-most deaths, but the state is now in Phase 2 of its reopening plan, which sees many businesses able to reopen their doors, though with restrictions.

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.

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