More than 1,900 new people in Massachusetts were confirmed to have COVID-19 over the three-day weekend as single-day positivity rates remained above 3%, continuing a trend that began in late September.
The state Department of Public Health reported 587 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, 570 additional cases on Sunday and 765 fresh cases on Monday, though the agency said Monday's total included "data from a national laboratory that had a delay in reporting."
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Along with the 1,922 new cases DPH reported 39 recent COVID-19 deaths since Friday, bringing the death toll to 9,617 people. Since Feb. 1, 136,933 people in Massachusetts have become infected with the virus.
Though state health officials said Monday the seven-day average of the positive test rate of all tests conducted remained at 1.1%, the agency also reported that 4.2% of people tested for the first time Friday were found to be positive for COVID-19, 3.4% of people first tested Saturday had the virus, and 3.2% of people first tested Sunday were confirmed to have COVID-19.
The single-day positivity percentage has been above 3% since late September, according to health officials. As of midday Monday, there were 501 people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Massachusetts. That's down by 30 patients from midday Saturday, but the Department of Public Health said the three-day average number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients is up 70% from the low of about 300 patients in late August. As of midday Monday, 82 people were being treated in an intensive care unit, including 32 COVID-19 patients on ventilators.
Dr. David Rosman, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, took to Twitter each evening this weekend to call attention to trend lines that he said "are still pointing up" and to encourage people to remain vigilant about social distancing and mask-wearing.
"Evening #MA. 765 new #COVID19 cases on 18.8k new tests. That's not good. Unusually high for a Monday. 3.2% positive. That's better than the last week which is good. Interesting that # of tests are going up. #StayHealthy #WearAMask #StayHome," he tweeted Monday.