3,919 New Breakthrough Cases in Mass.; State's Total Death Toll Tops 18,000

Those breakthrough COVID infection figures make up a tiny percentage of the total number of all people who have been vaccinated; Massachusetts' total death toll from the pandemic rose by 24 to 18,015

Massachusetts Coronavirus
NBC10 Boston

Massachusetts health officials on Tuesday reported nearly 4,000 new breakthrough cases over the past week, and 32 more deaths.

Also Tuesday, the death toll from COVID in Massachusetts topped 18,000.

In the last week, 3,919 new breakthrough cases -- infections in people who have been vaccinated -- were reported, with 61 more vaccinated people hospitalized, Massachusetts Department of Public Health officials said Tuesday. That brings the totals to 27,777 cases and 194 deaths in people with breakthrough infections.

Both figures remain a tiny percentage of the total number of all people who have been vaccinated -- just 0.02% of vaccinated people are hospitalized, and 0.61% have been infected. An even smaller percentage has died: 0.004%. The report also doesn't indicate how many of the breakthrough cases are in people with underlying conditions, though it also notes that "may be undercounted due to discrepancies" in records.

While vaccinated people are getting COVID-19, the virus' effects are severely blunted in them, and breakthrough cases rarely lead to hospitalizations or deaths. That's why public health officials worldwide continue to stress the importance of vaccination. (If you still need to be vaccinated, here's a tool to find the closest vaccination provider to your home.)

Another 1,453 confirmed coronavirus cases and 24 new deaths were also reported on Tuesday, pushing the state's number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 731,564 since the start of the pandemic and its death toll to 18,015.

Massachusetts' COVID metrics, tracked on the Department of Public Health's interactive coronavirus dashboard, dashboard, are far lower than they were in spring, and while all of the major ones have risen from their lowest points, some have dipped in recent weeks.

Massachusetts' seven-day average of positive tests ticked up to 2.28% on Tuesday. It was once above 30%, dropped under 0.5% until the delta variant began surging in the state and peaked just under 3% on Aug. 11.

The number of patients in Massachusetts hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 cases rose above 700 to 715; the figure was once nearly 4,000, but reached under an average of 85 at one point in July. Of those currently hospitalized, 202 are vaccinated, 172 are in intensive care units and 88 are intubated.

Over 9.3 million vaccine doses have been administered in Massachusetts as of Tuesday. That includes over 4.7 million first shots and nearly 4.3 million second shots of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. There have been more than 306,000 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine administered.

Health officials on Tuesday reported that a total of 4,560,305 Bay State residents have been fully vaccinated.

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