Thirty-five more people with the new coronavirus in Massachusetts have died, health officials said Friday, reporting 494 more confirmed and probable cases.
There are now 102,557 people who’ve been diagnosed with the virus in Massachusetts and 7,235 who have died with the disease caused by the virus, COVID-19, according to the Department of Public Health’s daily report.
This week, the coronavirus case total jumped past 100,000 and the death toll past 7,000, due in large part to the department adding probable cases and probable deaths to the tallies.
The data in the Department of Public Health’s daily report has been driving Gov. Charlie Baker’s decisions on reopening the state economy. It’s currently in Phase 1, with preparations being made for when Phase 2 is possible.
Baker will offer details about Phase 2 on Saturday, and he said Friday that the numbers continue to look good in Massachusetts, though not enough that residents should let down their guards.
“I don’t think I need to remind everybody that what got us here was our commitment to a set of behaviors and activities and we have to remain vigilant with respect to all of that,” Baker said.
The daily report contains six indicators that are informing how fast Massachusetts can move through the four phases of its reopening plan. They 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.
For the first time since the report started listing the indicators, one has changed. In Friday’s report, the number of coronavirus patients in hospitals was listed as trending positively, a step up from where it had been.
There are now 1,533 people with COVID-19 in Massachusetts hospitals. That’s down from a high of nearly 4,000.
Gov. Charlie Baker is urging people to answer calls from the state as workers attempt to trace cases.
Testing has been a cornerstone of the state’s coronavirus response plan. Baker instituted an innovative contact-tracing scheme that aims to alert anyone recently exposed to someone who tests positive for the virus that they should quarantine.
For months, Massachusetts has been one of the epicenters of COVID-19 in the U.S. It has the fifth-most cases among all states and, after probable cases were added Monday, the third-most deaths.
Baker and other health officials have said Massachusetts’ high tallies may be due to the state testing among the most residents per capita in the country.