Mass. Reports 8,542 More COVID Cases, 79 New Deaths Over Two Days

There have now been 367,987 cases confirmed in Massachusetts, with Saturday's additional deaths bringing the toll to 12,236

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The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported two days’ worth of data on Saturday, confirming 8,542 new coronavirus cases and an additional 79 deaths.

The delay in reporting the numbers was planned -- no report was released on Friday, which was New Year's Day.

Saturday's data includes reports received from approximately 12 a.m. on Dec. 31 through 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 1.

Massachusetts just set a daily COVID-19 case record on Thursday, Dec. 31, reporting 6,887, according to the state's Department of Public Health.

There were 7,424 cases reported on Dec. 26, but that included two days' worth of cases, since the Department of Public Health also didn't report any on Christmas Day.

There have now been 367,987 cases confirmed in Massachusetts, with Saturday's additional deaths bringing the toll to 12,236, according to officials. Another 266 deaths are considered probably linked to COVID-19.

The percentage of coronavirus tests coming back positive, on average, has increased to 8.67%, according to the report.

The number of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 has increased to 2,280. Of that number, 412 were listed as being in intensive care units and 246 are intubated, according to DPH.

With hospitalizations surging across the state, a new coronavirus field hospital is reportedly scheduled to open Monday in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Hospitalizations across the Bay State are up 129% since last month, according to health officials. With nearly 80,000 people statewide currently infected with the novel coronavirus, experts fear it could get much worse.

Although those numbers are staggering enough, many health care officials are still waiting for a post-holiday surge. They believe it could start in the second or third week of January.

State health officials say that if the new field hospital at the University of Massachusetts Lowell is utilized, any patients would travel to and from the field hospital by ambulance. Additionally, no patient or healthcare worker would have any interaction with students or campus community members.

Doctors worry the increased volume they're already seeing will only get worse when the post-Christmas spike starts to hit.
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