Massachusetts' coronavirus death toll topped 16,000 on Saturday, yet another grim milestone reported by health officials in the pandemic even as they reported a hopeful one a day earlier: that more than 2 million COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the state.
Data from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health showed that 2,420,360 doses have been administered in-state as of Friday. Of that amount, 646,005 have been second doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, while 4,406 Johnson & Johnson doses have been given, meaning about 650,000 people have been fully vaccinated.
The department also confirmed 52 new coronavirus deaths, bringing the death toll to 16,044. And 1,495 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed, bringing the total to 557,802, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Another 330 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, ticked down to 1.79% from 1.82%.
The number of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 dipped below 700, to 687. Of that number, 176 were listed as being in intensive care units and 114 were intubated, according to health officials.
The number of estimated active cases declined to 27,190 from 27,382 on Friday.
The latest numbers come as Massachusetts is easing COVID-19 restrictions on visitors from more states. Travelers from Missouri, Oregon and Washington won't need to quarantine when they arrive in Massachusetts beginning Saturday, health officials announced Friday.
The states join Hawaii and Puerto Rico, which are also deemed lower risk.
The announcement comes as Maine Governor Janet Mills announced Friday that those traveling to the state from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island can visit without quarantining or producing a negative COVID-19 test.
Visitors from other states must quarantine from the date of their arrival in Massachusetts unless they meet one of the state's criteria which include producing a negative COVID-19 test result administered up to 72 hours before their arrival.