State records 24 additional deaths through Saturday

The number of deaths in Massachusetts caused by the coronavirus eclipsed 200 on Saturday with 24 new fatalities from COVID-19 reported by the Department of Public Health.

Boston has recorded 13 deaths and 1,618 confirmed cases, with 163 noted as "recovered," according to the city's Boston Public Health Commission.

It's been 25 days since Gov. Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency as the number of cases statewide more than doubled to 92 on March 10.

As of Saturday afternoon, the state had confirmed 11,736 cases of COVID-19, an increase of 1,334 from the day before, and 216 deaths from the disease. The rapidly rising number of cases corresponds with increased testing as 5,838 new tests were completed over the prior day's tally, bringing the total number of residents in Massachusetts tested to 68,800.

The state's most populous county -- Middlesex County - has been the hardest hit, according to the data reported by DPH, followed closely by Suffolk County, which includes Boston, and then Essex and Norfolk counties.

Every one of the new deaths reported Saturday was someone 60 years-old or older, and the situation in nursing home and long-term care facilities continues to worsen.

The number of positive COVID-19 residents in nursing homes, rest homes, and skilled nursing facilities climbed by almost 100 cases from 382 on Friday to 480 on Saturday, with 12 new facilities reporting at least one case of coronavirus for a total of 94.

Infection in the AdviniaCare nursing home in Wilmington, where 51 of the 98 residents tested positive, forced the state to suspend its plan to move all patients to another facility to free up beds for COVID-19 patients.

Gov. Baker took a break Saturday from the routine of daily press briefing after announcing Friday new plans to deploy as many as 1,000 people trained by the Partners in Health group to trace contacts of all patients who contract COVID-19, describing it as a first-in-the-nation effort to understand the full risks of transmission.

This is also the first weekend in Massachusetts that restaurants have been able to sell beer and wine with take-out orders since Baker forced them to stop serving customers on March 16, and transition to a take-out only business model that has worked for some, but not all food and drink establishments.