Massachusetts health officials reported 1,553 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 66 more deaths on Wednesday.
There have now been totals of 553,220 confirmed cases and 15,925 deaths in the Bay State, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Another 327 deaths are considered probably linked to COVID-19.
Generally, Massachusetts' coronavirus metrics have been trending down in the past several weeks, according to the Department of Public Health's interactive coronavirus dashboard, with the average number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths peaking in the second week of January. The testing rate peaked Jan. 1. The figures reported daily are important for tracking trends with the virus' spread, though a single-day change may not reflect a larger trend, and may reflect incomplete data.
The percentage of coronavirus tests coming back positive, on average, held at 1.82%.
The number of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 decreased to 755. Of that number, 173 were listed as being in intensive care units and 109 were intubated, according to health officials.
The number of estimated active cases declined to 28,550 from 28,867 on Tuesday, which was the first day below 30,000 since November.
Also on Wednesday, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced that teachers, early educators and school staff members will be eligible to begin signing up for COVID-19 vaccine appointments starting on March 11.