Massachusetts today reported 3,079 new Covid-19 cases, the largest number since the state began testing in March - and far more than the 1,745 cases reported just the day before.
There were fewer reported deaths than the day before, but in both cases the numbers were higher than at the beginning of the month.
The dramatic increase may reflect a dramatic increase in testing - the numbers come from some 14,000 test results, compared to previous days, which reflected 5,000 to 8,000 tests a day.
The new numbers mean 46,023 total Covid-19 cases statewide and 6,958 in Boston.
Along with all those new cases, the state also reported 178 new Covid-19 deaths today, bringing the state's recorded total to 2,360. Yesterday's count was 221 deaths.
Daily death counts statewide (in blue) and in Boston (in red):
At a noon press conference, before the newest numbers were released, Gov. Baker called the death total "staggering" - and said "we must remember the people behind these numbers."
Until today, statewide case numbers had seemed to be leveling off in recent days, but Baker had cautioned then that a few days doesn't make a trend, especially since numbers have varied so much from day to day in the past. He added that thanks to aggressive work by the state and its hospitals to add beds, the state is so far able to handle the increased caseload - there were 3,977 people hospitalized with Covid-19 complications, up 100 from the day before, but more than half of the state's current 18,000 hospital beds are empty, in anticipation of both more Covid-19 patients and for any other patients who need care for non-Covid issues.
Baker also said that the state can't begin to start planning a re-opened economy until it gets a better handle on case numbers, which he has said will take far greater testing, the current surge levels off and the state has a much larger contact-tracing system to contact people who have been in close contact with people who test positive.