Massachusetts health officials have reported almost 11,000 new breakthrough COVID cases over the last week, and 13 new deaths in people with breakthrough cases.
In the last week, 10,982 new breakthrough cases -- infections in people who have been vaccinated -- were reported, with 148 more vaccinated people hospitalized over the period, Massachusetts Department of Public Health officials said Tuesday. This is a 40% increase from the last report -- in the previous period, there were 7,789 new breakthrough cases reported.
The new report brings the total number of breakthrough cases to 501,521 and the death toll among people with breakthrough infections to 2,267.
These figures remain a small percentage of the total number of all people who have been vaccinated -- cases in vaccinated individuals account for 9.4% of all cases, hospitalizations .15% and deaths are just 0.04% of the total counts since the start of the pandemic.
Massachusetts' COVID metrics, tracked on the Department of Public Health's interactive coronavirus dashboard, have declined since the omicron surge, but health officials have been watching as case counts started to increase several weeks ago.
The state reported 2,651 new cases on Tuesday, with 534 people hospitalized. Of those hospitalizations, 178 are hospitalized primarily for COVID-19 reasons. There are 44 patients in intensive care and 20 intubated.
There were 12 new deaths reported Tuesday, a number reflecting a three-day period over the weekend.
The state's seven-day average positivity rate came in at 5.63% Tuesday, compared to 5.15% on Monday.
Experts have said that case count reporting may have become a less accurate indicator during the omicron surge, given the difficulties in getting tested and widespread use of rapid tests where results go unreported.
The majority of cases in New England right now are being attributed to the "stealth" omicron variant BA.2. Increases in cases abroad are raising concerns that the U.S. could soon experience another COVID-19 wave. However, medical officials have said they don't expect that the rise of BA.2 will result in as dramatic of a spike in cases as we saw in the omicron surge late last year into early 2022, though they warn that we should expect to see a "bump."
More than 14.5 million vaccine doses have now been administered in Massachusetts.
Health officials on Tuesday reported that a total of 5,361,945 Massachusetts residents have been fully vaccinated.