Mass. Reports 1,637 New COVID Cases

In total, there have been 1,574,533 cases and 19,028 deaths since the start of the coronavirus pandemic

Massachusetts Coronavirus
NBC10 Boston

Massachusetts health officials on Friday reported 1,637 new COVID cases and two new deaths.

In total, there have been 1,574,533 cases and 19,030 deaths since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The state reported 231 people hospitalized for COVID-19 as of Friday's data release, with 80 of them, or 35%, being primary cases. Of the total hospitalizations, 36 are in intensive care and 22 are intubated.

The state's seven-day average positivity rate rose to 2.93% Friday, compared to 2.75% on Thursday.

Data on breakthrough COVID-19 cases, which is usually available on Tuesdays, was still not posted as of Friday, with the state saying it would be shared "as soon as it is available."

Massachusetts' COVID metrics, tracked on the Department of Public Health's interactive coronavirus dashboard, have declined since the omicron surge, but case counts are starting to increase once again. That case increase has not, at least for now, corresponded with any dramatic increase in deaths. The state health officials reported zero COVID-19 deaths on Monday.

There has been an uptick in COVID-19 levels found in wastewater tested by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority's tracking system. The levels remain nowhere near where they were during the peak of the omicron surge, though they do reflect an increase that is hitting levels seen in February.

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Hospitalizations and deaths in the state remain relatively low.

Experts have said that case count reporting may be a less accurate indicator during the omicron surge, given the difficulties in getting tested and widespread use of rapid tests that go unreported.

There are concerns about the so-called "stealth" omicron variant BA.2. Increases in cases abroad are raising concerns that the U.S. could soon experience another COVID-19 wave. However, medical officials don't expect that the rise of BA.2 will result in a spike in cases similar to the omicron surge late last year into early 2022, though they still urge caution.

More than 14.2 million vaccine doses have now been administered in Massachusetts. That includes more than 5.8 million first doses of either Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, nearly 5 million second shots, and over 342,000 Johnson & Johnson one-dose shots. Over 2.9 million booster shots have been administered.

Health officials on Friday reported that a total of 5,334,305 Massachusetts residents have been fully vaccinated.

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