Colin A. Young
Public health officials reported 9,228 new COVID-19 infections Tuesday, more than enough to push the number of confirmed cases in Massachusetts above the 1 million mark since the pandemic began in early 2020.
The state’s cumulative confirmed case count now stands at 1,002,226 infections with another 77,394 cases classified as “probable” coronavirus infections, the Department of Public Health said Tuesday. The 63 recent deaths that DPH also announced Tuesday raise the virus’s confirmed death toll to 19,692 people with the deaths of another 446 people considered “probable” COVID-19 fatalities. The state’s first confirmed case of COVID-19 was reported publicly on Feb. 1, 2020. Massachusetts surpassed the half-million infections mark in exactly one year, on Feb. 1, 2021.
As the omicron variant fuels a surge in COVID-19 cases despite a largely vaccinated population, Massachusetts has seen its positive test rate return to May 2020 levels. As of Tuesday, DPH said the seven-day average positivity rate is 11.08 percent, the highest rate registered since the 11.39 percent recorded on May 19, 2020. During last winter’s post-holidays surge, the state’s positive test rate topped out at 8.67 percent.
DPH’s hospitalization tally Tuesday showed that hospitals are treating 71 more virus patients than they were as of Monday’s report with 1,707 people hospitalized for COVID-19, more than twice as many as one month ago. Of the 1,707 people hospitalized for COVID-19, 528 or almost 31 percent are fully vaccinated against the virus, DPH said. There are 381 people being treated for COVID-19 in intensive care units, including 250 people who require the help of a ventilator to breathe — the highest numbers for each since late January.