State health officials on Thursday reported more than 9,000 confirmed COVID cases from the last week, a 15% jump week over week as the positive test rate rose again.
The state’s daily average of 1,299 COVID cases from the last week is an increase from the daily rate of 1,134 infections during the previous week.
The infection counts going up follows 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 positive test average had been climbing as the omicron BA.5 subvariant took over, but the rate went down in recent weeks. Now, it appears to be going back up. The seven-day positive test rate is now 7.48%, up from 7.32% last week.
The very infectious BA.5 variant is now responsible for 84.4% of new cases in New England, a drop from last week, according to this week’s update from the CDC. The omicron BA.4.6 variant appears to be on the rise, accounting for 9.7% 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 45 new COVID deaths over the past week, bringing the state’s total to 21,646 recorded deaths since the start of the pandemic. The daily average of deaths is now six, which is much lower than the daily death rate during the initial omicron surge.
The state reported that 590 total patients are hospitalized with COVID, which is down one patient 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 783,339 additional booster doses have been administered.