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Mass. reports 26 new deaths, 569 new cases of COVID-19 Saturday – The Boston Globe

September 20, 2020

Massachusetts’ health department reported 26 new deaths due to COVID-19 Saturday, along with 569 new confirmed cases of the virus.

The latest data from the Department of Public Health brings the state death toll caused by the coronavirus to 9,085, with 125,139 total confirmed cases.

The three-day average of confirmed COVID-19 deaths has increased, from 13 on Tuesday to 16 on Wednesday, according to the state.

The latest data came after many schools across Massachusetts reopened for the first time since the pandemic struck in the spring, and grappled with the challenges of resuming education during the pandemic.

Few districts have reopened their buildings full time, despite calls from Governor Charlie Baker and other state officials, who point to public health data supporting in-person learning.

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Instead, many districts are beginning the school year remotely, like Boston, or offering a mix of remote and hybrid schedules to bring some students back into buildings, including Newton.

Meanwhile, colleges and universities in Massachusetts are contending cases of coronavirus among students, including at Boston College, where the state will take over contact tracing after an outbreak there.

More than 2 million people have been given molecular tests for the virus, including 21,298 new people tested as of Saturday, the state reported.

The seven-day weighted average positive rate for the molecular tests was 0.8 percent Friday, and that average has held steady since Wednesday.

The state also reported that 299 new people have been given antibody tests, for a total of 118,069 people tested as of Saturday.

Four hospitals were using surge capacity to treat COVID-19 patients as of Friday, according to the state, down slightly from the five reported a day earlier.

The three-day average number of hospitalized coronavirus patients has been ticking upward, according to state data, and reached 359 as of Friday, up from 356 on Thursday.

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

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