Massachusetts stories zero coronavirus deaths, new COVID-19 instances maintain climbing

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State health officials on Monday reported zero new coronavirus deaths for the first time since July, while the number of COVID-19 cases continued to rise.

Friday’s zero confirmed virus deaths report was the first daily report with no COVID deaths since July 13.

While there were zero confirmed deaths, the state Health Department reported six probable COVID deaths. The total death toll in Massachusetts is now 20,121.

The seven-day average of deaths is now four, which was much higher after Omicron’s surge in hospital admissions.

The state reported a daily average of 963 COVID cases over the weekend, up 19% from the previous weekend’s daily rate of 810 infections. For comparison, the peak weekend of the Omicron variant was 20,329 daily cases in early January.

The week-on-week rise in cases comes after COVID sewage data from the Boston area began to rise. The omicron BA.2 “Stealth” variant has contributed to the rise in cases, along with the lifting of mask requirements and more people gathering in person.

The state’s positive test average had fallen but is now rising again. The average is now 2.4% – up from 1.6% a few weeks ago. The positive test rate for Monday’s report was 2.51%.

The state now has 216 hospitalized COVID patients, down eight patients from Friday’s total of 224 patients. Hospital admissions had been skyrocketing for several weeks during the Omicron surge, but have fallen dramatically in recent weeks.

The state reported that 31 patients are in intensive care units and 14 patients are currently intubated.

Of the COVID patients hospitalized nationwide, 39% of patients were reported as hospitalized due to COVID, and 61% of patients tested positive while hospitalized for other reasons.

More than 5.3 million people in Massachusetts are now fully vaccinated, and more than 6.1 million people have received at least one vaccination. More than 2.9 million people have received a booster shot and 60,011 additional boosters have been administered.