Massachusetts health officials reported 8,391 new COVID-19 cases and 81 new deaths in the last week, with the new data released Thursday.
In total, there have been 1,950,694 cases and 21,053 deaths since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Massachusetts' COVID data, tracked on the Department of Public Health's interactive coronavirus dashboard, did reflect an increase in cases and hospitalizations from the previous week. It's reported that as of Dec. 13 there were 255 people primarily hospitalized for COVID-19 and a total of 856 hospitalized patients who have the virus. Of the total hospitalizations, 91 were in intensive care and 30 were intubated.
Massachusetts COVID-19 wastewater data from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority has also been showing some increases, with the levels the highest they've been since last winter in areas south of Boston.
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Hospitals have also been warning about a surge in pediatric RSV patients, raising concerns about any additional strain on the system. The flu season has also ramped up early, with doctors concerned it will be a severe one.
The state's seven-day average positivity was listed at 8.68% Thursday, compared to 7.85% last week.
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Despite increases, we remain well below the types of case counts and hospitalizations seen at height of the omicron surge at the beginning of 2022, when average daily case counts reached over 28,000 and hospitalizations peaked at around 3,300.
Experts have said that case count reporting became a less accurate indicator during the omicron surge, given the difficulties in getting tested. Now, widespread use of rapid tests means that some results go unreported.
Millions f vaccine doses have been administered in Massachusetts.