More people are getting tested in Massachusetts amid an uptick in COVID cases driven by the delta variant.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported 43,645 new tests in recent days. Over the past two weeks, most of the COVID positives were among people in their 20s, followed by those in their 30’s.
Some testing locations, which had cut down their hours when case counts were low, are now reporting long lines and increased wait times.
Almost every county in southern New England has either high or substantial transmission of COVID-19, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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Internal documents from the CDC show the delta variant is as contagious as chickenpox and may be more dangerous than other versions. The federal agency's new guidance recommends that people in those counties wear masks in public, indoor settings, even if they're fully vaccinated, given the transmissibility of the delta variant.
Meanwhile, health experts are urging people to get tested if they're exposed to someone with the coronavirus, regardless of their vaccination status, as breakthrough cases continue to be reported.
Nearly 8,000 fully vaccinated Massachusetts residents have now tested positive for COVID-19 and 100 of them have died, according to state data on breakthrough cases published Tuesday.
Mask Debate in Mass.
The Department of Public Health tracked a cumulative 7,737 confirmed COVID-19 infections among those fully vaccinated in the state as of July 31, representing 0.18% of the immunized population.
The 100 deaths out of nearly 4.3 million vaccinated residents represents a rate of just 0.002%.
While breakthrough cases are being reported, officials say most new cases, and especially serious infections, are in the unvaccinated.
Massachusetts health officials reported another 962 confirmed coronavirus cases -- the most in a single day since early May -- and five new deaths on Wednesday.
The report pushed the state's confirmed COVID-19 caseload to 676,387 since the start of the pandemic and its death toll to 17,723. The last time more than 962 COVID cases were reported in one day was on May 6.