Massachusetts health officials reported 7,076 new COVID-19 cases and 31 new deaths on Thursday, the first weekly update since the state announced changes to its reporting features last week.
In total, there have been 1,783,187 cases and 19,818 deaths since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
The state reported 552 people hospitalized for COVID-19 as of Thursday's data release, with 165 being primary cases. Of the total hospitalizations, 46 are in intensive care and 12 are intubated.
Massachusetts' COVID metrics, tracked on the Department of Public Health's interactive coronavirus dashboard, have been slightly increasing. Experts have warned that this summer will be more challenging than last year, with a much higher level of COVID-19 in Massachusetts.
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More on the COVID-19 pandemic
Five new Massachusetts counties jumped from low to medium risk for COVID-19 this week, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The most recent spring peak in cases was attributed to subvariants of omicron — first, it was the "stealth" omicron variant BA.2, and more recently the BA.2. 12.1 subvariant. Newer variants have since been identified in New England, including the BA.5 and BA.2.75.
The state's seven-day average positivity was at 7.87% Thursday, compared to 7.87% on Friday when it was last posted.
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 show numbers increasing in the Boston area. They are still down from that spring bump, where the seven-day average came in around 1,300 RNA copies/mL. The levels of virus seen in the wastewater also remain nowhere near where they were during the peak of the omicron surge.
Experts have 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 15 million vaccine doses have now been administered in Massachusetts.
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