Massachusetts reported 2,602 new confirmed coronavirus cases and an additional 74 deaths on Thursday.
There have now been 507,166 confirmed cases and 14,489 deaths, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Another 295 deaths are considered probably linked to COVID-19.
Generally, Massachusetts' coronavirus metrics have been trending down, according to the Department of Public Health's interactive coronavirus dashboard, with the average number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths peaking in the second week of January. The testing rate peaked Jan. 1. The figures reported daily are important for tracking trends with the virus' spread, though a single-day change may not reflect a larger trend, and may reflect incomplete data.
The percentage of coronavirus tests coming back positive, on average, decreased slightly to 3.29% from 3.3% the previous day, the department said Thursday.
The number of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 has decreased to 1,554. Of that number, 335 were listed as being in intensive care units and 208 were intubated, according to health officials.
The number of estimated active cases dropped to 61,864 on Thursday, from 64,431 on Wednesday.
Earlier Thursday, Gov. Charlie Baker announced Massachusetts is easing some of its COVID-19 restrictions by increasing the capacity limits on businesses to 40% due to recent positive trends in the state's fight against the coronavirus.
The higher capacity limits effect businesses and other locations that had previously been limited to 25% capacity. Those include gyms, libraries, museums, retail offices, arcades, golf courses, places of worship and movie theaters — which will still operate under a cap of no more than 50 moviegoers.
Restaurant workers will not count to the 40% limit, and the new rules take effect on Monday at 5 a.m., Baker said.
The state is continuing to maintain a limit of 10 people at indoor gatherings and 25 people at outdoor gatherings.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.