70 new deaths reported across state on Sunday

The state reported another 2,615 cases of coronavirus on Easter Sunday as the death toll from the disease climbed to 756 and families across Massachusetts did their best to celebrate a major religious and cultural holiday remotely.

Seventy new deaths were reported by the Department of Public Health, including a male in his 30s from Plymouth County who had underlying health conditions.

Twelve percent of all cases and 45 percent of deaths can be traced to a nursing home or long-term care facility, according to state reporting. And total of 7,954 new test were conducted, bringing the total number of people tested to 116,730 or about 1.7 percent of the population of Massachusetts.

Gov. Charlie Baker had no public events or press briefings on Easter Sunday after visiting a Somerville mask decontamination site on Saturday that will greatly assist the effort to protect health care workers from themselves becoming infected.

"We are about to have a very difficult couple of weeks here in Massachusetts, and it could be three weeks and it could be four depending upon how this whole thing plays out," Gov. Charlie Baker said Friday.

Hospitals and public health officials are two days into a stretch between April 10 and April 20 when the state is expecting a surge in COVID-19 patients needing hospitalization and life-saving equipment like ventilators.

The number of patients hospitalized on Sunday with the coronavirus was 2,235, up from 2,120 on Saturday. The state reported that 6,455 people infected with COVID-19 have not required hospitalization and the bulk of cases - 16,785 - are still "under investigation."

Rather than gathering together for meals and egg hunts on a beautiful spring day, people on Sunday celebrated Easter in different ways, connecting with the friends and relatives through the use of technology and awaiting the ringing of bells from churches where they used to congregate.

Churches in the Archdiocese of Boston rang their bells at noon and Attorney General Maura Healey's office reported that calls went out to encourage the same practice statewide, across faiths.