Massachusetts health officials reported 1,679 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 36 more deaths on Friday, while the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations fell under 1,000 for the first time since November.
There have now been totals of 536,506 confirmed cases and 15,409 deaths in the Bay State, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Another 317 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, ticked down to 2.1% Friday, after being at 2.13%.
The number of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 fell to 990 from 1,029. Of that number, 258 were listed as being in intensive care units and 163 were intubated, according to health officials.
The last time fewer than 1,000 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 was Nov. 28, according to the dashboard, which uses a seven-day average for historic data.
The number of estimated active cases declined to 37,210 from 38,666 on Thursday.
Also on Friday, vaccination appointments remained hard to find on the state's sign-up site, though it did work after crashing for many on Thursday.