SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — The number of new daily cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts increased by more than 4,700 over the weekend while the number of newly confirmed coronavirus deaths in the state rose by 19.
The new numbers from Friday, Saturday and Sunday pushed the state’s confirmed COVID-19 death toll to 17,991 since the start of the pandemic, while its confirmed caseload rose to more than 730,000.
There were more than 670 people reported hospitalized Monday because of confirmed cases of COVID-19, with more than 170 in intensive care units.
The average age of those who have died from COVID-19 was 74.
The true number of cases is likely higher because studies suggest some people can be infected and not feel sick.
More than 4.5 million people in Massachusetts have been fully immunized against COVID-19.
The city of Springfield's mask mandate takes effect Monday.
Under the directive announced last week by Mayor Domenic Sarno and intended to stem the spread of the coronavirus, everyone regardless of vaccination status is required to wear a face covering in indoor public places, including municipal buildings and businesses.
“We have met with the business community and they have been very understanding and cooperative with this,” Sarno said last week. There are no capacity limits.
Masks are also required at outdoor events where social distancing is not possible. Performers at indoor and outdoor events will not be required to wear masks, but must maintain extra social distance from the crowd while performing, according to the regulations.
Enforcement is up to individual establishments, and violators can face fines of up to $300.
The mask mandate is scheduled to run through Nov. 1, but could be lifted earlier if key metrics improve.
The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 at Baystate Health hospitals is more than 100 now, 11 of whom are in critical care, and has tripled in a month, according to health system officials.
Several other communities in Massachusetts, including Boston, have imposed indoor mask mandates.