Health officials in Massachusetts confirmed another 1,464 cases of COVID-19 and 15 new deaths on Monday as the number of active cases of the virus increased again.
The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases has risen to 594,242 and the death toll now stands at 16,790, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Another 340 deaths are considered probably linked to COVID-19.
The seven-day average positive test rate rose slightly from 2.28% in Sunday's report to 2.37% in Monday's data. That figure had been below 2% as recently as March 16.
The number of patients in Massachusetts hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 cases also climbed again, up to 675. Of that number, 159 were listed as being in intensive care units and 93 were intubated, according to health officials.
Many of the state's coronavirus metrics had been trending downward after a peak at the very start of the year, though leveled off in recent weeks, according to the Department of Public Health's interactive coronavirus dashboard.
The Department of Public Health's projection of active COVID-19 cases crept up from 30,772 on Sunday to 31,428 on Monday, reflecting the increase in new cases in the Bay State that have drawn attention from health experts.
According to former U.S. Food and Drug Administrator Scott Gottlieb, a member of Gov. Charlie Baker's COVID-19 Advisory Board, Massachusetts is among the greatest areas of concern as infection numbers nationally are again on the rise.
"Michigan, Massachusetts, and the New York tri-state region remain some of the areas of greatest concern, where Covid cases are beginning to surge again," Gottlieb tweeted Sunday.
More on COVID in Mass.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky warned Monday of a potential “fourth wave” of the virus as cases in the U.S. rose 10% over the last week.
Walensky made an impassioned plea to Americans not to let their guard down in the fight against COVID-19, growing emotional as she reflected “on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom.”
“We have so much to look forward to, so much promise and potential of where we are and so much reason for hope. But right now, I’m scared,” she said.
The number of daily cases are growing, even as the vaccination campaign has ramped up. In Massachusetts, officials have administered over 90% of its available vaccine doses.
According to Monday's report, more than 3.4 million doses have been administered in the Bay State. The DPH says 1,271,808 residents have been fully vaccinated against the virus, with another 2,137,827 residents having received their first dose of either Pfizer of Moderna's vaccine.
Per state guidelines, residents 55 years and older and residents 16 years and older with one qualifying health condition will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as of April 5.
Phase 3 of the state's vaccine rollout is slated to launch on April 19, at which time people age 16 and older will be considered eligible to get the shot.