BOSTON (State House News Service) — Massachusetts heads into the weekend again on the precipice of another change in its COVID-19 response.
On Monday, six out of seven mass vaccination sites will start offering walk-in vaccines without appointments, a shift as the Baker administration increases its focus on more local efforts. A range of business and capacity restrictions are also set to loosen after the weekend.
More than half of the state's adult population has now been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and nearly a million other residents have gotten a first dose and are awaiting their second.
The Department of Public Health reported 881 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases on Friday from 78,071 tests -- a relatively high number of tests amid a gradual decline that Gov. Charlie Baker has linked to widespread vaccinations.
For the first time since early November, DPH's estimate of active COVID-19 cases dropped below 20,000. The Department projects there are now 19,784 active cases across the state, a number roughly equivalent to the population of Bourne.
Hospitalizations dropped for the 10th straight day, landing at 459 in Friday's report, 10 fewer than in Thursday's report.