coronavirus

708 New Coronavirus Cases Confirmed in Mass. as Total Cases Top 130,000

Massachusetts also reported 23 new confirmed COVID-19 deaths on Thursday, which saw the most newly confirmed cases in a single day since May

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Massachusetts reported 708 new confirmed coronavirus cases Thursday, the most in one day for months, and an additional 23 deaths.

There have now been 9,265 confirmed deaths and 130,461 cases, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

The percentage of coronavirus tests coming back positive, on average, ticked up to 1.1%, according to the department's daily coronavirus report. That's up slightly from the low of 0.8% seen for most of September.

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The total number of coronavirus deaths in the daily COVID-19 report is listed as 9,480, which would indicate there are 215 more deaths that are considered probable at this time.

The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 has decreased slightly to 436. Of that number, 84 were listed as being in intensive care units and 32 are intubated, according to DPH.

The 708 confirmed cases reported Thursday follows a trend of higher numbers of cases in recent weeks, though it's the largest single-day increase since May barring days with reporting anomalies.

On Wednesday, the state reported 510 new cases, one of several days above 500 cases in the last two weeks. For most of the summer, the state was reporting only a few hundred cases each day.

Effective Monday, lower-risk communities in Massachusetts will be able to move to Step 2 of Phase 3 of the state's reopening plan, which allows indoor and outdoor recreation businesses to reopen, expands the size of outdoor gatherings at event venues to 100 people and allows indoor and outdoor performance venues to open up to 50% capacity.

Public health experts have been warning of a possible second surge in COVID-19 in Massachusetts, though officials have long cautioned that people shouldn't draw sweeping conclusions from one or two days of data.

An emergency physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital tweeted Wednesday his concerns about the recent uptick in local positive COVID-19 cases and deaths, saying Massachusetts needs an indoor dining ban and other restrictions to avoid another full shutdown.

Thursday was a big day for Boston's coronavirus fight, when some of its public school students headed back to classes as the hybrid learning model went into effect.

But Boston was also moved to the high-risk category on Massachusetts' town-by-town coronavirus risk transmission map on Wednesday, the first time it's been in the red zone.

Students with the highest needs in Boston headed back to the classroom Thursday despite the city's high-risk designation for coronavirus transmission.
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