494 New Cases, 5 More Deaths – NBC Boston

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For the 10th straight day, Massachusetts health officials announced fewer than 1,000 new coronavirus cases on Sunday.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health confirmed 494 more COVID cases on Sunday, pushing the state’s confirmed caseload to 656,838.

Five new deaths were also reported. There have been 17,394 deaths in the Bay State since the start of the pandemic.

Many of Massachusetts’ COVID metrics, including the average number of coronavirus cases, average coronavirus test positivity and average number of confirmed deaths reported each day, have been falling since the end of March, according to trends posted to the Department of Public Health’s interactive coronavirus dashboard.

The seven-day average of positive tests on Sunday ticked down to 1%.

The number of patients in Massachusetts hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 cases decreased to 337. Of those currently hospitalized, 94 are listed as being in intensive care units and 55 are intubated.

Health officials’ projection of active COVID-19 cases also decreased again to 14,146 Sunday, from 14,396 Saturday.

More than 7.1 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Massachusetts, including more than 3.9 million first doses and more than 2.9 million second doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. There have been more than 231,000 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine administered.

According to the DPH, 3,202,166 Bay State residents had been fully vaccinated as of Sunday. Gov. Charlie Baker is aiming to reach 4.1 million fully vaccinated by the beginning of June.

On Saturday, 750 middle school students rolled up their sleeves at a vaccine clinic in Needham.

The clinic was held less than a week after the CDC gave the green light allowing 12- to 15-year-olds to receive the Pfizer vaccine.

The clinic was complete with a selfie station, free lollipops and familiar faces.

The district plans to hold a second clinic at Needham High School next Saturday.

Baker is expected to update the state’s reopening plans early this week. He made the comment a day after the CDC said fully vaccinated people can quit wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings and give up social distancing.

Despite the latest government guidance, not everyone is giving up wearing a face mask. And state and local officials are grappling with whether to follow suit.

With COVID-19 cases on the decline after more than 580,000 deaths and with more than a third of the U.S. population fully vaccinated, millions are deciding whether to continue wearing face masks, which were both a shield against infection and a point of heated political debate over the last year. People have myriad reasons for deciding to stop, or continuing to wear, a mask.

Coolidge Corner Theatre and Time Out Market Boston are reopening after months closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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