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Massachusetts reports 744 new COVID cases, 14 more coronavirus deaths on Sunday

Massachusetts public health officials on Sunday reported 744 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 14 more deaths linked to the virus statewide.

The state has eclipsed 140,000 cases since the pandemic began, with Sunday’s newly confirmed cases bringing the case total to 140,647. There have been 9,517 deaths linked to the virus; when including probable cases, the death toll increases to 9,737, according to the state Department of Public Health. Of those who have died, 98.2% had underlying health conditions.

Sunday’s report is based on 15,588 molecular tests; 5,168,943 molecular tests have been administered to 2,514,633 people in Massachusetts, DPH said.

The seven-day, weighted average rate of positive tests is 1.2%, DPH reported. Throughout September, the rate held at around 1% and a low of 0.8%.

There are 483 people in treatment for COVID-19 at the hospital, including 83 in intensive care.

Sixty-three Massachusetts communities have been labeled as high-risk for transmission of the virus. From Oct. 8 to Oct. 14, 160 cases were reported among student and school staff members in schools with in-person or hybrid learning.

Municipal and state officials are pushing Gov. Charlie Baker to exclude a cluster in the Middleton House of Correction from its risk assessment model.

Baker said last week that he is likely not going to do so, arguing that “value judgements on the data” may produce confusion.

Many state and local leaders are still pushing the federal government for a stimulus package. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday said the White House and Democrats must strike a deal in the next two days to finalize a relief package before Election Day.

As of Sunday, here are the number of coronavirus cases in each Massachusetts county:

Barnstable County: 1,896

Berkshire County: 736

Bristol County: 10,985

Dukes County: 71

Essex County: 22,035

Franklin County: 437

Hampden County: 9,074

Hampshire County: 1,400

Middlesex County: 29,986

Nantucket County: 133

Norfolk County: 11,128

Plymouth County: 10,619

Suffolk County: 26,383

Worcester County: 15,475

Unknown location: 289

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