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Mass. reports 23 new deaths, 210 new COVID-19 cases Saturday

Gia Brown, right, handed a test kit to nurse practitioner Dianne Valko at the NEW Health (North End Waterfront) walk-up COVID-19 testing site in the North End on June 30.
Gia Brown, right, handed a test kit to nurse practitioner Dianne Valko at the NEW Health (North End Waterfront) walk-up COVID-19 testing site in the North End on June 30.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

State officials reported 23 new deaths and 210 new cases of the coronavirus Saturday as much of Massachusetts prepares to ease coronavirus restrictions starting Monday.

Those latest figures on the virus bring the death toll in Massachusetts to 8,172 as of 10 a.m. Saturday, from 8,149 on Friday. The 210 new cases of COVID-19 increased Friday’s total of 109,628 cases to 109,838 on Saturday.

Those new numbers include both confirmed and probable deaths due to the coronavirus.

The state’s three-day average of confirmed COVID-19 deaths was 18 as of Wednesday. That figure has fluctuated from 17 to 21 since June 26, according to state data.

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Probable-case deaths in Massachusetts due to coronavirus totaled 214 Saturday. No new probable case deaths were announced Saturday.

The state also said 47 new probable cases of COVID-19 were reported, bringing the statewide total of probable cases to 5,447.

Testing data — another metric tracked by the state — showed that 7,940 more people had been given molecular tests, bringing the total number of people tested to 880,320.

The state’s seven-day average positive rate for those molecular tests was 1.8 percent Saturday, the state reported. That figure had been declining, but plateaued in recent weeks. It has remained between 1.8 percent to 2 percent since June 18.

The state said antibody tests had been completed for 704 additional people, bringing that total to 75,302 as of Saturday.

Hospital data released by the state Saturday showed that medical centers continued to report a decline in the number of patients being treated for the coronavirus.

As of Saturday, the three-day average number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals was 659, continuing a decline that has largely been uninterrupted since April 22, when that average figure was 3,902.

For much of the past month, the number of hospitals using surge capacity has ranged from one to seven, state data showed. Saturday’s data showed that figure dropped to three as of Thursday, down from five a day earlier.

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The latest update on the coronavirus in Massachusetts comes after officials warned people to avoid large crowds and follow public health guidelines over the Fourth of July holiday weekend. Many of the nation’s festivities were called off due to the pandemic.

But some restrictions are due to be eased in much of Massachusetts beginning Monday, when Phase 3 of the economic reopening is scheduled to start.

Except in Boston, many indoor venues, including casinos, gyms, and museums, can reopen for the first time in the months since Governor Charlie Baker ordered a shutdown due to the virus.

Boston will start Phase 3 of the reopening plan July 13 so the city has more time to prepare, officials have said.



John Hilliard can be reached at john.hilliard@globe.com.