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Mass. reports 518 new confirmed coronavirus cases, 16 new deaths; state average in red zone

Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

The death toll from confirmed coronavirus cases in Massachusetts rose by 16 to 9,429, the Department of Public Health reported Wednesday. The number of confirmed cases climbed by 518, bringing the total to 138,083.

State officials also said Boston remained in the high-risk category for coronavirus on Wednesday and that the statewide average fell into the red zone, as well.

Boston is one of 63 cities and towns designated high-risk, meaning they have had more than 8 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 14 days, the Department of Public Health reported in its weekly community data set. There were 40 communities in the red zone in last week’s report.

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Boston’s average daily rate of infection per 100,000 residents was at 11.1, up from 10 last week, the department said. The statewide average daily rate was at 8.7.

The other 62 communities considered high risk are Abington, Acushnet, Amherst, Attleboro, Auburn, Berkley, Brockton, Canton, Chelmsford, Chelsea, Dartmouth, East Bridgewater, East Longmeadow, Everett, Fairhaven, Fall River, Framingham, Hanover, Hanson, Haverhill, Hingham, Holbrook, Holliston, Holyoke, Hudson, Kingston, Lawrence, Leicester, Littleton, Lowell, Lynn, Malden, Marlborough, Marshfield, Methuen, Middleton, Milford, Milton, Nantucket, New Bedford, North Andover, Oxford, Pembroke, Plymouth, Randolph, Revere, Rockland, Saugus, Shrewsbury, Somerville, Southborough, Spencer, Sunderland, Tyngsborough, Wakefield, Waltham, Webster, West Newbury, Weymouth, Winthrop, Woburn, and Worcester.

State officials also reported that 13,057 more people had been tested for coronavirus, bringing the total to more than 2.45 million. The number of tests administered climbed to more than 4.89 million. New antibody tests had been completed for 247 people, bringing that total to 123,336.

The seven-day average rate of positive tests, which is calculated from the total number of tests administered, ticked up to 1.3 percent after spending four days at 1.2 percent. The lowest observed figure for that metric — a number watched closely by state officials — is 0.8 percent.

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The state also offers another measure of test positivity: daily positive tests per people tested, which some specialists have suggested is a better measure of the pandemic. That number stood at 4.3 percent in Wednesday’s report after increasing for the previous two days.

Meanwhile, the three-day average of hospitalized coronavirus patients dropped slightly from 509 to 505 in Wednesday’s report. The lowest that metric has been is 302.

The number of hospitals using surge capacity remained at three for a second day, after ticking up from one, and the three-day average of deaths from confirmed cases remained at 13 for a third straight day; the lowest that number has been is nine.



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