Massachusetts Reports 14 New Coronavirus Deaths, 178 Cases As State Closely Observes Positive Test Rate

Massachusetts health officials reported 14 other coronavirus deaths on Tuesday, raising the death count statewide to 8,331.

Authorities also confirmed another 178 cases of the virus, bringing the total number of cases statewide to at least 108,740. That is based on 9,881 new molecular tests reported Tuesday, according to the Department of Public Health.

There are currently 364 people hospitalized with COVID-19.

Authorities also reported 78 new probable cases, bringing the total probable cases statewide to 7,442.

A new MassINC poll found that an overwhelming majority of Massachusetts residents approve of Governor Charlie Baker’s response to the public health crisis. Of the registered voters surveyed, approximately 81% approved Baker’s response to the local pandemic, which includes 47% who strongly approve. About 77% said they had a favorable opinion of Baker.

The latest figures come amid a small spike in new infections, which officials believe is the result of several “small clusters” of cases linked to recent meetings, Baker said Monday. The positive testing rate has increased from about 1.7% to about 2%, Baker said.

Baystate Health on Monday reported an outbreak of new infections at Baystate Medical Center affecting 23 employees and 13 patients. Baystate Health President and CEO Dr. Mark Keroack said the outbreak dates back to a single employee, who returned to work after visiting a state identified as a new virus access point.

There was also an outbreak in the city of Chatham on Cape Cod after at least 10 people who attended a home party on July 12 tested positive for coronavirus. Cape officials announced Sunday that they will offer pop quizzes to anyone who has attended the party, or is a close contact of someone who was there.

On Tuesday, the Holyoke Soldiers House, which was the site of one of the deadliest coronavirus outbreaks since the pandemic began, said it will suspend visits after a resident of the facility who recovered from COVID-19 again tested positive for the virus.

Baker also announced Monday that the state is expanding its free coronavirus testing program to eight more communities with slightly higher rates of infections. Those communities include Agawam, Brockton, Methuen, Randolph, Revere, Springfield, Taunton, and Worcester.

Coronavirus en masse: view cases, maps, charts and resources

These are the cases listed by county:

Barnstable County: 1,718

Berkshire County: 647

Bristol County: 8,932

Dukes County: 65

Essex County: 17,033

Franklin County: 398

Hampden County: 7,326

Hampshire County: 1,095

Middlesex County: 25,429

Nantucket County: 34

Norfolk County: 10,034

Plymouth County: 9,018

Suffolk County: 20,960

Worcester County: 13,166

Unknown location: 327

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