Massachusetts reports 2 new coronavirus deaths, 338 cases; Global deaths top 700K –

Massachusetts health officials announced two more coronavirus deaths on Wednesday, bringing the statewide death toll to 8,438.

Officials also confirmed another 338 cases of the virus, for a total of at least 111,371 across Massachusetts. That’s based on 17,216 new molecular tests reported on Wednesday, according to the Department of Public Health.

The number of COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized in Massachusetts is 396, including 57 people in intensive care.

There were also another 102 probable cases of coronavirus reported on Wednesday, for a total of at least 8,272.

As of Wednesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting roughly 4,748,806 cases of COVID-19 across the country, including 156,311 deaths. Johns Hopkins’ Center for Systems Science and Engineering is reporting 702,330 global deaths.

On Tuesday, health officials reported 438 new cases of the virus — the largest increase in several months. Massachusetts has been seeing an uptick in infections, which state officials have said could tied to “small clusters” caused by parties and instances of people ignoring the mask mandate, or not properly social distancing.

Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday said officials have not ruled out stricter regulations on businesses and reduced gathering sizes amid the increase in cases. He admitted that there has been “some slippage” in compliance with the public health guidance, and that officials are investigating the origins and causes of the clusters of infections.

An outbreak at Baystate Medical Center that started last week is just one such cluster. Hospital officials on Monday said least 55 people have tested positive. Baystate Health has since strengthened its rules for mask-wearing and distancing and reconfigured some indoor spaces after hospital officials traced a cluster of new cases there to a single employee who had been to a COVID-19 hotspot state.

Ten Falmouth lifeguards have also tested positive for the coronavirus after several of them had attended a recent party, Town Manager Julian Suso said on Monday. At least 10 others became infected in Chatham following a house party in July.

On Tuesday, DPH announced it would be removing Rhode Island from a list of states exempt from the governor’s travel order, citing an increase in infections there. To be exempt from the order, which requires that visitors quarantine for 14 days if they cannot produce a negative test result, a state must keep its positive test rate below 10 per 100,000 people and its seven-day average of positive tests below 5%.

Coronavirus in Mass.: See cases, maps, charts and resources

Here are the cases listed by county:

Barnstable County: 1,778

Berkshire County: 664

Bristol County: 9,255

Dukes County: 66

Essex County: 17,571

Franklin County: 407

Hampden County: 7,518

Hampshire County: 1,150

Middlesex County: 26,109

Nantucket County: 34

Norfolk County: 10,488

Plymouth County: 9,185

Suffolk County: 21,579

Worcester County: 13,497

Unknown location: 342

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