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Mass. reports 295 new confirmed coronavirus cases, 20 new deaths

A woman is instructed on how to swab her nose by a medical worker at a free COVID-19 testing site in Chelsea.
A woman is instructed on how to swab her nose by a medical worker at a free COVID-19 testing site in Chelsea.David Goldman/Associated Press

The death toll from confirmed coronavirus cases in Massachusetts rose by 20 to 9,036, the state Department of Public Health reported Wednesday. The number of confirmed cases climbed by 295, bringing the total to 123,720.

State officials also reported that 16,632 more people had been tested for coronavirus, bringing the total to more than 1.9 million. The number of administered tests climbed to more than 3.13 million. The state also reported that new antibody tests had been completed for 355 people, bringing that total to 117,107.

The seven-day rate of positive tests dropped to 0.8 percent, which is the lowest observed figure for that metric.

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Meanwhile, the three-day average of hospitalized coronavirus patients grew from 308 to 321 in Wednesday’s daily report. The lowest that metric has been is 302.

The number of hospitals using surge capacity ticked upward from one to two, and the three-day average of deaths from confirmed cases dropped from 13 to 10; the lowest that number has been is nine.

Weekly figures also showed that Chelsea, Dedham, Everett, Framingham, Lawrence, Lynn, Lynnfield, Monson, New Bedford, Revere, and Winthrop remained high-risk communities for the virus, with more than 8 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 14 days.

Nantucket, Plainville, Saugus, Tyngsborough, Worcester, and Wrentham were added to the list of high-risk communities.

Chatham and Methuen were moved out of the high-risk category.

The numbers were released as a University of Massachusetts model predicts the state’s coronavirus death toll could rise to more than 9,400 by Oct. 10.

The model says the state could tally 9,446 deaths by that time, though researchers said the numbers could range from 9,333 to 9,650.

The model numbers reflect both confirmed and probable cases. The state had tallied 9,225 confirmed and probable case deaths as of Tuesday.

The rate of deaths reported each day has slowed after a terrifying climb this spring.

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The projection comes from a lab headed by University of Massachusetts Amherst associate professor Nicholas Reich that collects various models and develops a combined forecast that is intended to reflect their collective wisdom.

It only creates the forecast for a four-week window ahead because it believes forecasts aren’t reliable enough after that.

Reich’s lab posts its national- and state-level data every week at the Reich Lab COVID-19 Forecast Hub. The lab, already an Influenza Forecasting Center of Excellence, collaborates with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on coronavirus predictions. The lab feeds the data it has collected and its ensemble forecast to the agency, which posts the data on its own website.

Researchers from Google who have collaborated with Harvard on a model that looks only two weeks ahead are predicting the death toll will rise to 9,346 in the state by Sept. 27.

The UMass model also predicts that the total number of deaths in the United States from coronavirus will reach 211,986 by Oct. 10.

Looking further into the future, the closely followed model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation sees things worsening. It has projected that the nation could tally more than 400,000 coronavirus deaths by the end of the year.


Martin finucane can be reached at martin.finucane@globe.com Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.