Massachusetts coronavirus deaths up 14 and 387 new cases, test positive rate slowly rising

Massachusetts health officials on Friday reported 14 new coronavirus deaths and 387 new cases as the average positive test rate increased to 2.1% amid warnings from Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders of a “slow creep.”

The seven-day weighted average of the state’s positive test rate has declined from 16.6% on May 1 to 2.1% now, up from 2% on Thursday. Through July until Wednesday, the rate had been below 2%, sometimes dipping down to 1.6%

“We want the slow creep to stop and start trending back down,” Sudders said of the rising positive test rate. “We have the ability in Massachusetts — because we’ve demonstrated that ability — to drive it down.”

The 14 new coronavirus deaths bring the state’s COVID-19 death toll to 8,389, the state Department of Public Health announced. The three-day average of coronavirus daily deaths has dropped from 161 at the start of May to 13 now.

The state has logged 109,787 cases of the highly contagious disease, an increase of 387 cases since Thursday.

Gov. Charlie Baker said Friday the slight uptick in coronavirus cases the past few days was in part due to a delay in reporting to DPH from a large hospital group.

Coronavirus hospitalizations went down by 20 patients, bringing the state’s COVID-19 hospitalization total to 347. There are 58 patients in the ICU, and 28 patients are currently intubated.

The highest peak of Massachusetts’ coronavirus hospitalizations was 3,965 on April 21. The three-day average of the number of coronavirus hospitalizations has gone from 3,707 on May 1 to 368 now.

The state reported 24,184 residents and health care workers at long-term care facilities have now contracted the virus, with 376 facilities reporting at least one case of COVID-19.

Of the state’s 8,389 total coronavirus deaths, 5,486 are connected to long-term care facilities.

The U.S., still in the midst of a surge, had seen nearly 4.5 million COVID-19 cases, 152,000 deaths and 1.4 million recoveries.

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