Massachusetts reported 17 new coronavirus deaths on Monday, the lowest one-day total since early April.
The number of newly reported deaths and cases was the lowest since April 5, when 15 COVID-19 deaths were reported. A total of 7,874 residents have now died from the virus.
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The state Department of Public Health also announced 149 new coronavirus cases for a total of 107,210 since the start of the pandemic. The 3-day average of COVID-19 deaths is now down 83% since mid-April and hospitalizations are down 74%.
Last week, the population of coronavirus-positive patients in Massachusetts hospitals dropped below 1,000 people for the first time since the surge. That number currently stands at 920.
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 are currently trending positively and half are "in progress."
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The second step of Phase 2 of the state's 4-phased reopening plan went into effect on Monday. It allows indoor dining to begin, increases capacity at offices from 25% to 50% and allows retailers to open fitting rooms, though by appointment only. It also allows for close-contact business such as nail salons and tattoo parlors to resume operations with safety precautions in place.
Despite positive trends, the pandemic continues to disproportionately impact communities of color in the Bay State.
New data released last week shows Black and Hispanic residents of Massachusetts are more than three times more likely to become infected with the coronavirus than white residents.
The data, compiled by the state health department's COVID-19 Health Equity Advisory Group, highlights how Black and Hispanic communities across Massachusetts are being disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
According to the data, Black non-Hispanic residents and Hispanic residents have a three-times higher positive COVID-19 case rate than white, non-Hispanic residents. Black and Hispanic residents also have higher rates of hospitalizations and are higher burden of COVID-19 deaths compared to white or Asian residents.