Massachusetts health officials reported 1,780 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday and 16 new deaths.
In total, there have been 1,734,099 cases and 19,514 deaths since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
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The state reported 567 people hospitalized for COVID-19 as of Wednesday's data release, with 189 being primary cases. Of the total hospitalizations, 53 are in intensive care and 16 are intubated.
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Massachusetts' COVID metrics, tracked on the Department of Public Health's interactive coronavirus dashboard, had been trending up in recent weeks, but the latest numbers seem to reflect a decline in the spring bump.
This latest increase is being attributed to subvariants of omicron — first, it was the "stealth" omicron variant BA.2, and more recently the BA.2. 12.1 subvariant, which health officials say appears to be more contagious than BA.2. However, there is no data to indicate it causes more serious illness.
The state's seven-day average positivity was at 6.62% Wednesday, compared to 6.81% on Tuesday.
This spring bump is still below the types of case counts and hospitalizations seen at height of the omicron surge in January, when average daily case counts reached over 28,000 and hospitalizations peaked at around 3,300.
COVID levels in wastewater, as reported by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority's tracking system have also started to signal declines.
It's important to note that the levels of virus seen in the wastewater also remain nowhere near where they were during the peak of the omicron surge.
Experts have also said that case count reporting became a less accurate indicator during the omicron surge, given the difficulties in getting tested. Now, widespread use of rapid tests means that some results go unreported.
More than 14.8 million vaccine doses have now been administered in Massachusetts.
Health officials on Wednesday reported that a total of 5,393,758 Massachusetts residents have been fully vaccinated.
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