BOSTON (SHNS) – 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.

Massachusetts DPH: 756 deaths reported out of 25,475 cases of COVID-19

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.

  • Santiago Updates From ER: The intensive care units at Boston Medical Center are full as the number of COVID-19 patients being admitted continues to rise towards the surge that state officials are expecting to be in full swing in the next week. Rep. Jon Santiago, who works as an emergency room doctor at BMC, said in his latest social media update that “the surge is officially started.” “Talking to my colleagues all across Boston, the number of patients coming in has definitely increased. The number of infections, hospitalizations and, unfortunately, deaths, have” also, Santiago said. The Boston lawmaker said he finished up the second of three consecutive day shifts at BMC late Sunday afternoon. He said BMC still has “room and capacity in our hospital,” though the ICUs are full. He said the hospital recently added 10 to 15 additional ICU beds and that he is “hopeful about our surge prep.” Santiago also told the story of a patient he admitted Saturday, who came to the hospital because of an unrelated issue, “didn’t look too well” and ultimately tested positive for COVID-19. Santiago said he recognized the patient and learned later that he cared for the man a few years ago when he was hit by a car. “It’s a crazy place to work because things come full circle,” Santiago said. — Colin A. Young 5:09 PM