Massachusetts health officials reported 2,561 new COVID-19 cases and 24 new deaths Thursday.
In total, there have been 1,722,244 cases and 19,462 deaths since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
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The state reported 696 people hospitalized for COVID-19 as of Thursday's data release, with 243 being primary cases. Of the total hospitalizations, 80 are in intensive care and 24 are intubated.
Massachusetts' COVID metrics, tracked on the Department of Public Health's interactive coronavirus dashboard, have declined since the omicron surge, but case counts started to rise a few weeks ago despite moving into warmer weather months.
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 7.29% Thursday, compared to 7.72% on Wednesday.
These numbers suggest case counts are dropping back down. While they have risen in recent weeks, 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 seen some declines, but the trend has not been consistent in the Boston area.
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 Thursday reported that a total of 5,389,352 Massachusetts residents have been fully vaccinated.