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Mass. reports 143 new confirmed coronavirus cases, 11 new deaths

A COVID-19 testing site in Chelsea.Erin Clark/Globe Staff

The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in Massachusetts among confirmed cases climbed by 11 to 8,163, the state reported Thursday. The number of confirmed cases climbed by 143, bringing the total to 106,271, as key metrics the state is using to monitor the reopening remained generally steady.

The state also reported one new probable-case death, with that total rising to 217, and an additional 91 probable cases for a total of 6,310.

The state said 12,880 new individuals had been tested for the coronavirus, bringing the total of individuals tested to 995,374. The total number of tests administered climbed to 1,274,585. And the state reported that new antibody tests had been completed for 1,189 people, bringing that total to 83,598.

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Meanwhile, two of the four key metrics that state officials are looking at for the state’s reopening ticked up, while one remained steady and one fell slightly.

The seven-day weighted average of positive coronavirus tests rose slightly from 1.6 percent Tuesday to 1.7 percent on Wednesday, but still represented a 94 percent drop from mid-April. The metric has hovered at or below 2 percent since mid-June.

The three-day average of hospitalized coronavirus patients fell slightly, dropping to 566 as of Wednesday from 570 the day before. That figure represents an 84 percent drop from mid-April.

The number of hospitals using surge capacity stayed steady at six on Wednesday for the second consecutive day. However, the metric has still seen a 71 percent drop from April 15.

The three-day average of deaths among confirmed cases rose slightly to 13 on Monday, up from 11 a day earlier. Still, that figure has dropped 92 percent since mid-April.

The numbers were reported hours after Governor Charlie Baker warned Massachusetts residents not to ease up on the methods shown to slow the spread of COVID-19: Wearing face coverings, washing hands, socializing outdoors instead of indoors, and disinfecting surfaces.

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“It’s pretty clear at this point that the Commonwealth has made significant progress to slow the spread of COVID-19 since March, gradually reopen our economy, and expand our testing capacity statewide. But that significant progress is due in large part to the cooperation and participation of every resident,” he said. 

Baker also noted that it is “especially important as the rest of the country has experienced significant increases in recent weeks that we stay vigilant here in Massachusetts.”

Coronavirus numbers are rising in dozens of states, particularly in the South and West. Infection metrics are increasing in 40 states, and 22 states have either paused or reversed efforts to reopen their economies, according to an Associated Press report citing Bank of America.

California recently just re-closed gyms, nail salons, and other “nonessential” businesses statewide. Bars in Texas are again shuttered because of surging infections. And Pennsylvania this week ordered restaurants to operate at only 25 percent capacity.

Meanwhile, a growing number of states are considering or requiring people to wear face coverings in public. Republican governors in Alabama and Texas and Democrats in Kentucky, Louisiana, and North Carolina have issued statewide mask requirements. Colorado and Arkansas became the latest US states to require masks on Thursday.

Florida also posted a record number of 156 virus deaths, along with nearly 14,000 new cases, mirroring a broader trend this week that has seen the national death rate spike. The seven-day rolling average for new deaths has risen to 730, a more than 21 percent increase from a week ago.

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Wire material from the Associated Press and Bloomberg News was used in this report.



Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JaclynReiss