Mass COVID-19 deaths now more than 500

A total of 503 Massachusetts residents have now died as a result of contracting COVID-19 after the death toll grew by 70 since April 8, the Department of Public Health announced Thursday.

For the first time since the outbreak began, the daily increase in confirmed cases exceeded 2,000: a jump of 2,151 over Wednesday — when Gov. Charlie Baker cautioned that the state is still on the "upward slope" of the coronavirus outbreak — brought the total to 18,941.

Testing continues to rise across the state as well, contributing to the growing case numbers. Laboratories tested 7,447 new patients over the past day, more than double the 3,500 per day Baker previously set as a goal.

Thursday's update reported 1,747 patients hospitalized, 5,106 not hospitalized and 12,088 for whom hospitalization status is unknown. Racial and ethnic data the state began publishing Wednesday remains incomplete, with 67 percent of confirmed cases and 68 percent of deaths listing race or ethnicity as either "unknown" or "missing."