Mass. Reports 1,989 New COVID Cases Thursday

In total, there have been 1,736,088 cases and 19,531 deaths since the start of the coronavirus pandemic

Massachusetts Coronavirus
NBC10 Boston

Massachusetts health officials reported 1,989 new COVID-19 cases Thursday and 17 new deaths.

In total, there have been 1,736,088 cases and 19,531 deaths since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The state reported 505 people hospitalized for COVID-19 as of Thursday's data release, with 169 being primary cases. Of the total hospitalizations, 49 are in intensive care and 15 are intubated.

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 6.38% Thursday, compared to 6.62% on Wednesday.

This spring bump was well 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. 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 Thursday reported that a total of 5,394,564 Massachusetts residents have been fully vaccinated.

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