Massachusetts health officials reported 1,928 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 33 more deaths on Thursday.
There have now been totals of 545,624 confirmed cases and 15,657 deaths in the state, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Another 321 deaths are considered probably linked to COVID-19.
Generally, Massachusetts' coronavirus metrics have been trending down in the past several weeks, 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, dropped slightly to 1.85%.
The number of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 decreased to 853. Of that number, 221 were listed as being in intensive care units and 142 were intubated, according to health officials.
The number of estimated active cases declined to 32,117 from 33,332 on Wednesday.
Earlier Thursday, Gov. Charlie Baker announced that Massachusetts is planning to ease some of its coronavirus restrictions as the number of hospitalizations and new infections decline and vaccinations climb. That includes allowing a limited number of fans back into Fenway Park and Gillette Stadium.
Beginning Monday, indoor performance venues such as concert halls and theaters will be allowed to reopen at 50% capacity with no more than 500 persons while indoor recreational activities like laser tag, roller skating and trampolines can also reopen at 50% capacity.
Also Monday, all sectors with capacity limits will be raised to 50%. Restaurants will no longer have a percent capacity limit and will be permitted to host musical performances.
Six-foot social distancing, limits of six people per table and 90-minute limits remain in place.
On March 22, the state will open a range of previously closed businesses under tight capacity restrictions. That includes indoor and outdoor stadiums, arenas and ballparks — including Fenway, Gillette and the TD Garden. At first the facilities will operate at a strict 12% capacity limit after submitting a plan to the Department of Public Health.