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Mass. reports 195 new coronavirus cases, 18 new deaths; UMass model says death toll will rise to over 8,300 by July 11

The Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the virus causes COVID-19.Associated Press

State officials reported Tuesday that the coronavirus death toll in Massachusetts had risen by 18 to 7,665 and that the number of people testing positive for the virus had climbed by 195 to 105,885, as key metrics monitored by the state continued to suggest the outbreak is on the wane.

The numbers reflected both confirmed and probable deaths and cases. When confirmed cases only are included, the tally is 7,508 deaths and 101,474 cases.

The state reported 18 new confirmed-case deaths, and no new probable deaths. It also reported 140 new confirmed cases, plus 55 probable cases.

The state also reported that 6,361 new individuals had been given the molecular coronavirus test, bringing the total to 719,236. The total number of molecular tests that have been administered — a statistic the state began reporting on Monday — rose to 903,422.


The state also reported that new antibody tests had also been completed for 909 people, bringing that total to 58,795.

Meanwhile, three of the four key metrics that the state is monitoring to determine the pace of reopening fell; one ticked up slightly, but still has declined drastically overall since the surge.

The seven-day weighted average of positive test rates showed a slight decrease to 2.6 percent on Monday, down from 2.8 percent a day earlier. It has dropped 91 percent since April 15.

The three-day average of the number of patients hospitalized for the coronavirus decreased Monday to 1,037 from 1,045 a day earlier. It has dropped 71 percent since April 15.

The number of hospitals using surge capacity ticked up slightly from one Sunday to two on Monday — a statistic that is still down from a high of 21 in early May, and has seen a 90 percent decrease since April 15.

A fourth metric, the three-day average of COVID-19 deaths, also fell from 32 on Friday to 26 on Saturday. It has dropped 83 percent since April 15.


The numbers came as researchers in England announced that a cheap, widely available steroid called dexamethasone can help people survive the virus. The drug reduced COVID-19 deaths by up to one-third in severely ill hospitalized patients, the researchers said, promising to publish their findings soon.

Earlier in the day, a University of Massachusetts model estimated that the death toll in the state would reach 8,309 by July 11.

The UMass estimate, issued Tuesday, comes from a lab headed by UMass Amherst associate professor Nicholas Reich that collects various coronavirus pandemic models and develops a combined, or ensemble, forecast that is intended to reflect their collective wisdom.

Reich’s lab releases the ensemble forecast weekly. It only creates the forecast for a four-week window ahead because it believes forecasts aren’t reliable enough after that. Last week, the model estimated there would be 8,241 deaths tallied by July 4.

Reich’s lab posts its national- and state-level data at the Reich Lab COVID-19 Forecast Hub. The lab, already an Influenza Forecasting Center of Excellence, collaborates with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on coronavirus predictions.

The lab also feeds the data it has collected and its ensemble forecast to the agency, which posts the data on its own website. The data is also used to feed the website.

The closely-watched University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation model, looking further into the future, predicts Massachusetts will see 8,671 deaths by Oct. 1.


The heartbreaking numbers may, in the end, turn out to be low. Experts are concerned that the pandemic may see a possible resurgence as states reopen. They’re also worried about possible spread of the virus in the large crowds that have taken to the streets to protest the deaths of Black people at the hands of police. The state has set up more than 50 popup testing sites around the state on Wednesday and Thursday.

Experts have also also raised the possibility that the official death tally in the state may actually be an undercount since virus deaths may have gone unnoticed by officials early on.

The latest UMass ensemble model also predicts the United States as a whole will see a cumulative total of 135,461 deaths in four weeks. Last week it put the four-week number at 130,558. There is a 10 percent chance of seeing fewer than 131,000 and a 10 percent chance of seeing more than 141,000, Reich said in a tweet. The current US death toll is over 116,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The closely watched model of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, issued new numbers Monday evening that predicted the United States would have 201,129 COVID-19 deaths by Oct. 1, an increase researchers attributed to premature relaxation of restrictions and increased mobility.

John Hilliard of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Material from Globe wire services was used in this report.


Martin Finucane can be reached at Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at Follow her on Twitter: @JaclynReiss