Mass. Confirms 5,497 New COVID Cases Over the Weekend; Testing Rate Rises

Massachusetts' seven-day average of positive tests rose to 3.72% Monday, reaching a level last seen on Jan. 28

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Massachusetts health officials reported another 5,497 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 21 new deaths Monday, in a report that includes data from over the weekend.

It pushed the state's number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 852,527 since the start of the pandemic and its death toll to 18,960.

Massachusetts' COVID metrics, tracked on the Department of Public Health's interactive coronavirus dashboard, dashboard, had been far lower than they were in spring, but have been rising lately.

The discovery of omicron, a new COVID strain labeled a variant of concern by the World Health Organization over the Thanksgiving weekend, is being monitored in case it accelerates the recent surge statewide and across the U.S. -- though no cases have been identified in the U.S. so far.

The U.S. plans to ban travel from South Africa and seven other southern African countries starting Monday.

Massachusetts Department of Public Health COVID reports on Mondays, or Tuesdays after holiday weekends, include all the data reported since Friday's update. This weekend's cases average to about 1,832 per day, somewhat lower than the recent trend of higher cases, though testing availability during the holiday weekend may have affected it.

Massachusetts' seven-day average of positive tests rose to 3.72% Monday, reaching a level last seen on Jan. 28, state data shows. It was once above 30%, but had dropped under 0.5% until the delta variant began surging in the state.

The number of patients in Massachusetts hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 cases increased to 839, the most since Feb. 24, according to state data; the figure was once nearly 4,000, but reached under an average of 85 at one point in July.

Of those currently hospitalized, 301 are fully vaccinated, 178 are in intensive care units and 102 are intubated.

Three top Boston doctors talk about Pfizer's COVID vaccine for 12-15 year-olds, a post-holiday surge and symptoms on NBC10 Boston’s weekly “COVID Q&A” series.

More than 11.3 million vaccine doses have now been administered in Massachusetts.

That includes, from the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, nearly 5.4 million first shots, over 4.5 million second shots and just under 1.1 million booster shots. There have been more than 328,000 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine administered.

Health officials on Monday reported that a total of 4,855,180 Massachusetts residents have been fully vaccinated.

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