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Mass. reports 178 new confirmed coronavirus cases, 14 new deaths

A man received a coronavirus test.
A man received a coronavirus test.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

The death toll from confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Massachusetts rose by 14 to 8,331, state officials reported Tuesday, and the number of cases climbed by 178, bringing the total to 108,740.

Key metrics the state is eyeing for its phased reopening plan hovered well below the numbers reported during the springtime surge, but a recent uptick in coronavirus cases is still making some doctors uneasy.

Tuesday’s numbers were also reported shortly after Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh stressed that residents should still be vigilant about wearing masks, social distancing, and washing their hands, noting that the virus “is still very much a threat here.”

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The state on Tuesday reported one new probable-case death, raising that total to 220. There were 78 new probable cases, bringing that total to 7,442.

State officials said 9,881 more people had been tested for the coronavirus as of Tuesday, bringing the total tested to 1,133,674. The total number of tests administered climbed to 1,468,395.

The state reported that new antibody tests had been completed for 460 people, bringing that total to 93,124.

The state is monitoring four key metrics as part of its phased reopening process. Here’s what the latest data show for each of them:

The seven-day weighted average of positive tests stayed at 1.9 percent for the second consecutive day on Monday. That metric has generally hovered between 1.7 percent and 2 percent since mid-June. The current number represents a 94 percent drop from mid-April highs.

The three-day average of hospitalized coronavirus patients dipped slightly from 362 on Sunday to 359 as of Monday, representing a 90 percent drop since mid-April.

The number of hospitals using surge capacity rose from zero on Sunday to four on Monday, but still represents an 81 percent drop since mid-April. And the three-day average of deaths from confirmed coronavirus cases dropped slightly to 12 on Saturday, down from 15 on Friday — a 92 percent decrease from mid-April.

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The numbers were reported shortly after Walsh chided a harbor cruise company for allowing a crowded vessel to set sail over the weekend, and warned that “it’s important for us to stay very vigilant in keeping our numbers down.”

“We think we’re winding down on COVID-19, but we’re not,” Walsh said. “If we’re in a sporting event, we’re probably at halftime right now. Which means we have another five or six or seven, or eight, nine months to go. So we still have to be very careful.”

And as the reported rate of positive COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts has crept up over the past week, some doctors say they fear that they might be seeing a return of the virus that has spread so quickly around the nation this summer.

The head of the Massachusetts Medical Society told the Globe Monday that the state should seriously reconsider allowing gyms, indoor dining, and casinos to remain open.

“I would rather act too early than act too late,” said Dr. David Rosman, the society’s president and associate chair of radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital. “Our priority should be kids, school, and health. That’s where we should be focusing.”

Travis Andersen, Kay Lazar, and Dasia Moore of the Globe staff contributed to this report.


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