coronavirus

Mass. Reports 1,548 New COVID Cases, 34 More Deaths; More Than 880,000 Residents Fully Vaccinated

Generally, Massachusetts' coronavirus metrics have been trending downward

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Massachusetts public health officials announced Saturday that more than 880,000 residents have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. They also reported 1,548 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 34 more deaths.

The update brings the totals to 567,108 confirmed cases and 16,281 deaths, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Another 333 deaths are considered probably linked to COVID-19.

Generally, Massachusetts' coronavirus metrics have been trending downward in the past several weeks, according to the Department of Public Health's interactive coronavirus dashboard, with the average number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths peaking in the second week of January. The testing rate peaked Jan. 1. The figures reported daily are important for tracking trends with the virus' spread, though a single-day change may not reflect a larger trend, and may reflect incomplete data.

The percentage of coronavirus tests coming back positive, on average, ticked down to 1.73% from 1.77%.

The number of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 increased by two to 643. Of that number, 176 were listed as being in intensive care units and 109 were intubated, according to health officials.

The number of estimated active cases jumped back above 26,000. Saturday's report lists 26,001 estimated active cases, up from 25,858 on Friday.

As of Saturday, 2,467,392 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Massachusetts, including 1,587,325 first doses and 825,157 second doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine. Additionally, 54,910 doses of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered.

Overall, 880,067 Bay State residents have been fully immunized.

Right now, the state is administering about 250,000 doses of vaccine per week.

The latest report comes as dozens of new CVS locations capable of administering the COVID-19 vaccine in Massachusetts made booking appointments available. The additional 34 vaccination sites join 51 stores already activated in the state, bringing the total number of CVS Pharmacy locations administering a vaccine in Massachusetts to 85.

CVS says its stores are receiving more shipments of the vaccine and the eligible residents can begin booking appointments for the latest allocation of doses starting Saturday.

After the state launched a new website Friday morning with the hope of avoiding the confusion and virtual sparring that occurred under the previous system, about 200,000 Massachusetts residents preregistered for COVID-19 vaccine shots. The number of residents who entered their information into the website reflects the ongoing demand for vaccinations.

"We're up to about 200,000 people preregistered at this point, which is great,'' Gov. Charlie Baker said at a press conference Friday morning, following a tour of a school in Lynn.

All Massachusetts residents can now preregister for a COVID-19 vaccination appointment at one of the state's seven mass vaccination sites.

Under the previous system, those trying to sign up often had to spend hours battling computer glitches. Vaccine demand still outstrips supply, but under the new system, residents who fill out an online form will get a confirmation by phone, text or email and receive a weekly update about their status.

The system only applies to the state's seven mass vaccination sites. Residents can opt out if they secure an appointment elsewhere. When an appointment becomes available, the individual will be notified and have 24 hours to accept. If an appointment is not accepted after 24 hours, the resident will have to get back in line to wait for another appointment. This tool is available at vaccinesignup.mass.gov.

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