More Than 5,000 COVID-19 Cases Reported in Mass. for 3rd Day in a Row

In Nantucket, officials are concerned about a rising, well-above-state-average positivity rate among those tested for the virus

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Saturday marked a third consecutive day where more than 5,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Massachusetts.

There were 5,356 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus Saturday, up from Friday's figure, the Department of Public Health announced. Massachusetts also reported 41 more deaths from COVID-19.

This number of cases still comes in under the high mark of the week, when the state reported 6,477 new cases Thursday — though 680 of those cases came from a delay in reporting, according to that day's report.

There have now been 10,715 confirmed deaths and 242,812 cases, according to the DPH. Another 263 deaths are considered probably linked to COVID-19 at this time.

The average rate of COVID-19 tests stayed relatively level at 5.4%, according to the report — just a small change from Friday's 5.44%.

With COVID-19 deaths and infections hitting record highs and discouraging economic numbers, Washington is under pressure to break deadlock on a new relief bill.

The number of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 increased again Saturday to 1,428. Of that total, 283 are listed as being in intensive care units and 138 are intubated, according to DPH.

In Nantucket, officials are concerned about a rising trend in cases in recent days.

Saturday morning, 64 new cases of COVID-19 were reported from tests conducted at Nantucket Cottage Hospital over the past couple days.

The seven-day positivity rate in the town, meanwhile, has risen to 10.9% - a mark nearly double that of the average statewide, and the highest level seen there since the start of the pandemic, Nantucket officials said.

Most of the infected patients have been in their 20s and 30s, but in all has ranged from 9 months to 60 years old.

"We are grateful, and lucky, that none of these recent active cases of COVID-19 have required hospitalization yet, but the sheer number of people we have diagnosed over the past week is very troubling," the Nantucket Department of Health said in a statement Saturday.

Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday evening said the Commonwealth had submitted its order for a first round of vaccines to the CDC. The federal government allocated Massachusetts nearly 60,000 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in a first shipment. 

The first doses will likely be reserved for frontline health care workers, people over the age of 65 or with underlying health conditions and other essential workers.

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