America paused Monday to remember the sacrifices of its veterans while countries worldwide continued a war against a common enemy that emerged for the first time this year: COVID-19.

The Department of Public Health's Memorial Day report revealed more evidence that Massachusetts is still coming down from its April COVID-19 surge. With 8,188 new tests reported, officials announced 596 new positive cases, and 44 newly reported deaths.

Officially, the death toll from COVID-19 is listed at 6,416 in Massachusetts, and approaching 100,000 in the United States.

Cases, but not deaths, have been evenly spread among most age groups. The average age of people who have died in confirmed COVID-19 cases is 82, with 3,924 deaths reported in long-term care facilities.

There were 2,132 COVID-19 patients reported as hospitalized in Monday's report, including 576 in intensive care units. The average age of cases in which patients were hospitalized was 68.

In recorded remarks from the State House, Gov. Charlie Baker recalled participating in Memorial Day ceremonies in past years and the opportunities to look directly into the eyes of veterans and their families and to thank them personally.

"This year because of COVID-19 we're all doing this virtually, but that doesn't mean the sentiments change along the way," said Baker. "We are so grateful for the men and women in uniform, the men and women who have served, and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of this great country."

The holiday also marked another significant step toward reopening the state economy, with another assortment of businesses cleared to relaunch while adhering to mandatory safety standards and industry-specific guidelines.


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