Massachusetts reported 16 more coronavirus deaths on Tuesday and 229 more cases of the virus.
Tuesday’s COVID-19 report from the Department of Public Health’s put the state’s death toll at 7,890; the number of people infected stands at 107,439.
It was released after Gov. Charlie Baker said there were encouraging signs that the major recent protests across the state haven’t spread the virus much among the participants.
While that was a worry for epidemiologists and public health experts, Baker said that testing made available for people who took part in the protests has shown only a positive rate of 2.5%, which is about in line with testing in Massachusetts overall.
The daily increase in COVID-19 deaths and cases in the state is dramatically lower than what the state was reporting two months ago, at the height of the local coronavirus surge.
The six indicators informing how fast Massachusetts can move through the four phases of reopening the state 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. Their statuses have held steady, with half in a positive trend and half “in progress” since June 5.
The second step of Phase 2 of the state’s 4-phased reopening plan went effect on Monday. It allows indoor dining to begin, increases capacity at offices from 25% to 50% and allows retailers to open fitting rooms, though by appointment only.
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 the third-most deaths, but the state is now in Phase 2 of its reopening plan, which sees many businesses able to reopen their doors, though with restrictions.
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.