Mass. COVID Hospitalizations and positivity rate down again – NBC Boston

Massachusetts reported another 7,918 confirmed coronavirus cases and 80 new deaths on Wednesday, as the state continues to see a decline in hospitalizations and its positivity rate.

That brings the state’s COVID-19 cases to 1,457,699 since the start of the pandemic and its death toll to 21,187. The number of cases is down significantly from the record number earlier this month. State health officials reported a single-day high on Jan. 5, surpassing 27,000 cases, followed by the second-highest single-day total on Jan. 7, with more than 26,000 cases.

Massachusetts COVID Measures, Tracked by Department of Public Health interactive coronavirus dashboardtrended lower after hitting highs not seen since previous surges, a peak thought to be driven at least in part by the omicron variant.

The 7-day average test positivity stood at 10.37% on Wednesday, down from the 11.40% reported on Tuesday.

There were 2,617 hospitalizations reported on Wednesday, with 405 patients in intensive care and 248 patients intubated. As of January 14, there were 3,300 patients in hospitals. The pandemic’s worst time for hospitalizations continues to be April 2020, when nearly 4,000 people with COVID were in hospitals in Massachusetts.

The state has begun releasing a new breakdown of virus hospitalizations, data that indicates whether COVID-19 is the primary or incidental cause of hospitalization. This new information shows that while there were more than 3,000 patients in hospitals with COVID-19 as of Thursday, just under 50% of those cases were for other causes.

Experts said reporting case numbers could be a less accurate indicator during the omicron surge, given difficulties in getting tested and the widespread use of rapid tests that go unreported. Officials also warn that hospitalizations, which may be a better metric to measure, often lag the number of cases, which means that even if COVID-19 cases decline, health systems could still be stressed by the influx of patients and staff shortages.

Boston’s top doctors talk about next steps now that the omicron push has peaked, the new omicron BA.2 subvariant, variant-specific vaccines, natural immunity and masks in the schools on NBC10 Boston’s weekly “COVID Q&A” series.

More than 13.5 million doses of vaccine have now been administered in Massachusetts. This includes more than 5.6 million first doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, 4.8 million second injections and more than 338,000 Johnson & Johnson single-dose injections. Over 2.6 million reminders were administered.

On Thursday, health officials reported that a total of 5,188,134 Massachusetts residents had been fully vaccinated.

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