State health officials on Thursday reported 7,936 confirmed COVID cases from the last week, a 20% jump following the recent rise in the Boston-area COVID wastewater data.
The COVID wastewater tracker throughout the pandemic has been the first indication of cases at the community level, and the data has helped predict surges.
The state’s daily average of 1,134 COVID cases from the last week is up from the daily rate of 946 infections during the previous week. Infection counts had been trending down in previous weeks.
The positive test average had been climbing as the omicron BA.5 subvariant took over, but the positive test rate went down in recent weeks. The seven-day positive test rate is now 7.32%, up from 7.13% last week.
The very infectious BA.5 variant is now responsible for 88.6% of new cases in New England, according to this week’s update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The omicron BA.4.6 variant appears to be on the rise, accounting for 8.6% of new cases.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is now reporting its COVID data on a weekly basis, reflecting the evolving COVID response in the state. Previously, the data had been reported five days a week.
The state reported 37 new COVID deaths over the past week, bringing the state’s total to 21,588 recorded deaths since the start of the pandemic. The daily average of deaths is now five, which is much lower than the daily death rate during the initial omicron surge.
The state reported that 591 total patients are hospitalized with COVID, which is up 18 patients from this time last week.
More than 5.4 million people in the state have been fully vaccinated, and more than 3.2 million people have gotten at least one booster dose. Also, the state reported that 739,426 additional booster doses have been administered.