Massachusetts health officials reported 2,962 new COVID-19 cases Thursday and two new deaths, as test positivity rose up to 3.66% and hospitalizations ticked up.
In total, there have been 1,585,176 cases and 19,052 deaths since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
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.
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The state reported 307 people hospitalized for COVID-19 as of Thursday's data release, with 102 of them being primary cases. Of the total hospitalizations, 30 are in intensive care and 15 are intubated.
The state's seven-day average positivity rate rose to 3.66% Thursday, compared to 3.48% on Wednesday.
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 at this stage.
Experts have said that case count reporting may have become a less accurate indicator during the omicron surge, given the difficulties in getting tested and widespread use of rapid tests that go unreported.
The majority of cases in New England right now are being attributed to the "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 have said they don't expect that the rise of BA.2 will result in as dramatic of a spike in cases as we saw in the omicron surge late last year into early 2022, though they warn that we should expect to see a "bump."
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 nearly 343,000 Johnson & Johnson one-dose shots. Nearly 3 million booster shots have been administered.
Health officials on Thursday reported that a total of 5,342,183 Massachusetts residents have been fully vaccinated.