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Mass. reports 270 new confirmed coronavirus cases, 16 new deaths

Melissa Leaston of Whittier Street Health Center used a nasal swab to collect a specimen from a patient outside the Catherine Hardaway Residences in Roxbury.
Melissa Leaston of Whittier Street Health Center used a nasal swab to collect a specimen from a patient outside the Catherine Hardaway Residences in Roxbury.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in Massachusetts rose by 16 to 8,265, state officials said Thursday. The number of confirmed cases climbed by 270, bringing the total to 107,683, as key metrics the state uses to monitor its phased reopening held generally steady.

The state reported no new probable-case deaths, keeping that total at 219. There were 57 new probable cases for a total of 6,964.

The data, which is scheduled to be released at 4 p.m. each day, was posted online after 9 p.m.

“In response to the newly mandated federal hospital reporting requirements, hospitals and the Department of Public Health have experienced technical difficulties and data integrity issues in reporting the data,” an agency spokeswoman said in an e-mail explaining the delay. “The department is working to mitigate these reporting challenges soon.”

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Earlier in the day, the count of confirmed infections in the United States reached 4 million according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine. Globally, more than 15 million people have been infected and more than 600,000 have died because of COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins.

Massachusetts saw improvement on some of the key metrics closely watched by public health officials. The three-day average of patients hospitalized for the coronavirus dropped to 465 on Wednesday, down from 509 the day before and from 498 on Monday. That marks an 87 percent decline from mid-April highs.

The three-day average of deaths from confirmed coronavirus cases also saw a downturn. It was at 10 as of Monday, down from 13 on Sunday and 12 on Saturday. That number was a 93 percent decrease from mid-April and marked the lowest three-day average in weeks.

State officials said more than 16,000 more people had been tested for the coronavirus as of Thursday, bringing the total tested to 1,079,288. The total number of tests administered climbed to 1,391,221.

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The state reported that new antibody tests had been completed for 1,366 people, bringing that total to 88,712.

A University of Massachusetts model released this week suggested coronavirus deaths in the state will continue to decline in the coming weeks. The model estimates that by Aug. 15, the state will have tallied 8,783 deaths, though researchers said that number could range from 8,656 to 9,019.

The University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation model, looking further into the future, predicts that Massachusetts will see 9,970 coronavirus deaths by Nov. 1.

Also Thursday, President Trump announced that Republican National Convention events planned for Florida, a state that reported a record 173 coronavirus deaths on Thursday, have been canceled in response to the pandemic.

After announcing the cancellation, Trump continued to push for schools to reopen in the fall, though he acknowledged that schools in some virus hot spots may need to delay in-person classes .

“We cannot indefinitely stop 50 million American children from going to school, harming their mental, physical, and emotional development,” he said from the White House briefing room. “Reopening our schools is also critical to ensure that parents can go to work and provide for their families.”

Trump said that every school across the country should be preparing to open and that students will suffer learning losses and lose access to meal programs and mental health services if classrooms remain closed.


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Christina Prignano can be reached at christina.prignano@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @cprignano. Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.