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Active COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to decline in Massachusetts



By Katie Lannan

The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Massachusetts fell below 2,000 this weekend, ticking down to a level the state’s hospitals had not seen since before Christmas. Hospitalizations had been climbing since the fall, and hit 2,428 as of Jan. 4.

Data the Department of Public Health released Sunday showed 1,946 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 as of Saturday, including 409 in intensive care units and 286 who were intubated to help them breathe. Eighty-six percent of medical/surgical hospital beds and 81 percent of ICU beds were occupied, with 47 patients in field hospital beds. The 3,750 new cases reported on Sunday bring the state’s cumulative COVID-19 caseload to 475,925 since the coronavirus was first detected here on Feb. 1, 2020, and the Department of Public Health estimates that 91,507 of those cases are currently active. The seven-day average positive test rate stands at 4.85 percent, down from 8.7 percent on Jan. 1.

Public health officials on Sunday logged 67 recent deaths linked to confirmed COVID-19 cases, and two more considered likely to be related to COVID-19. A total of 13,844 people confirmed to have COVID-19 and 289 with probable cases of the respiratory disease have died, for a total fatality count of 14,133.

As the state and the country seek to find an end to the pandemic through vaccination, Gov. Charlie Baker plans to provide a vaccination update at 12:30 p.m. in a livestreamed press conference. Monday morning also marked the end of an overnight stay-home advisory and a 9:30 p.m. curfew for restaurants and entertainment venues, which had been in place since early November.

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