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Mass. reports 568 new confirmed coronavirus cases, 23 new deaths

Drive-up testing in Charlestown earlier this month.
Drive-up testing in Charlestown earlier this month.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

The death toll from confirmed coronavirus cases in Massachusetts rose by 23 to 9,452, the Department of Public Health reported Thursday. The number of confirmed cases climbed by 568, bringing the total to 138,651.

State officials also reported that 14,737 more people had been tested for coronavirus, bringing the total to more than 2.47 million. The number of administered tests climbed to more than 4.95 million. The state also reported that new antibody tests had been completed for 236 people, bringing that total to 123,572.

The seven-day average of positive tests per total tests administered was at 1.3 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 on its dashboard a different measure of test positivity: daily positive tests per people tested. That number reached 4.2 percent. Some experts have suggested that positive tests per people tested is a better measure of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the three-day average of hospitalized coronavirus patients held steady at 505. The lowest that metric has been is 302.

The number of hospitals using surge capacity was two, and the three-day average of deaths from confirmed cases, which has been inching up for several days was 19; the lowest that number has been is nine.

The data have been suggesting that, after a terrifying spring, Massachusetts gained control of the virus this summer, but it is now creeping back again.

A chart posted Wednesday by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority of detection of virus traces in the waste water at the Deer Island treatment plant showed levels wandering upward from their lowest values this summer.

The chart reflects tests taken as recently as Friday, Oct. 9. The pilot project is intended to be an early warning system for the virus.

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Coronavirus traces found at the Deer Island waste-water treatment plant are increasing from their low points this summer.
Coronavirus traces found at the Deer Island waste-water treatment plant are increasing from their low points this summer.Massachusetts Water Resources Authority




Martin finucane can be reached at martin.finucane@globe.com.