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Some virus-control restrictions relaxed in Mass. as of Monday

Restaurants, movie theaters and many other businesses will now be allowed to remain open past 9:30 p.m.

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BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts is relaxing some coronavirus restrictions on Monday as several key metrics used to measure the spread of the disease trend in the right direction.

Restaurants, movie theaters and many other businesses will now be allowed to remain open past 9:30 p.m. This includes the Encore Boston Harbor casino in Everett, which announced it would reopen 24 hours a day starting Wednesday, Jan. 27. Also, a rule that required people to stay at home from 10 p.m. until 5 p.m. except for work or other essential travel has been lifted.

The restrictions were adopted in November as new cases surged.

The latest 7-day average positivity rate in Massachusetts has dropped to 4.83% as of Sunday, down from 7.2% on Jan. 10. State health departments are calculating positivity rate differently across the country, but for Massachusetts the AP calculates the rate by dividing new cases by test specimens using data from The COVID Tracking Project.

The 7-day rolling average of daily new cases in Massachusetts is also on the decline, at 4,271 on Sunday, down from 6,447 on Jan. 10, according to The COVID Tracking Project.

Hospitalizations are also falling.

Some safety measures remain in place, including a 25% capacity limit for many businesses, including restaurants and casinos.

The state Department of Public Health reported 3,750 new confirmed cases and 67 new virus-related deaths on Sunday.

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