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Mass. reports 12 new deaths, 421 new cases due to COVID-19 Saturday – The Boston Globe

The state reported 12 new deaths due to COVID-19 Saturday, bringing the Massachusetts confirmed death toll to 8,803. The number of confirmed cases of the disease reached 118,309, including 421 newly reported cases.

The three-day average of confirmed COVID-19 deaths dropped by one, from an average of 15 on Tuesday to 14 as of Wednesday.

The new data comes as Massachusetts gears up for a return to school: For K-12 districts across the state, about 70 percent local school districts will offer some in-person education, Governor Charlie Baker has said.

Whether to reopen buildings this fall has divided some officials, educators, and parents — nearly one-third of school systems, including the Boston Public Schools — have opted to reopen with distance learning programs.

The state’s colleges and universities are also preparing to resume classes as students return to the region. Many officials, including Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh,have also advised students to avoid parties and other large gatherings out of concern for spreading the disease.

The state has also changed its travel restrictions from other states, adding Colorado, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia to its list of “lower-risk” states, along with New York, New Jersey, and most of New England.

Travelers from those states do not need to quarantine for two weeks, nor are they required to fill out a Massachusetts Travel Form, according to the state.

Hawaii and Rhode Island were initially considered lower-risk states, but each has been removed from the Massachusetts list.

On Saturday, the state also reported that nearly 1.7 million people have been given molecular tests for the virus, including 23,882 new people who have been tested.

The seven-day average positive rate for the molecular tests remained steady at 1 percent Friday, where it has been since Tuesday.

The state also reported that 886 new people have been given antibody tests, for a total of 112,464 people tested as of Saturday.

Three hospitals were using surge capacity to treat COVID-19 patients as of Friday, according to the state. Since Monday, that figure has wavered between two and three hospitals.

And the three-day average number of hospitalized coronavirus patients was 317 as of Friday, down from 334 a day earlier.

John Hilliard can be reached at [email protected].

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