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Mass. reports 821 new confirmed coronavirus cases, 5 new deaths

Drive-through testing on Tuesday at the Suffolk Downs site in Revere
Drive-through testing on Tuesday at the Suffolk Downs site in RevereDavid L. Ryan/Globe Staff

The death toll from confirmed coronavirus cases in Massachusetts rose by 5 to 9,537, the Department of Public Health reported Tuesday. The number of confirmed cases climbed by 821, bringing the total to 142,295.

State officials also reported that 17,238 more people had been tested for coronavirus, bringing the total to more than 2.54 million. The number of administered tests climbed to more than 5.3 million. The state also reported that new antibody tests had been completed for 371 people, bringing that total to 124,711.

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, which can vary day to day, jumped up to 6.2 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 grew from 494 to 500. The lowest that metric has been is 302.

The number of hospitals using surge capacity was one, and the three-day average of deaths from confirmed cases was 15; the lowest that number has been is nine.

Massachusetts appeared to have gotten the virus under control during the summer, but it is creeping up again, data suggest, just as colder weather arrives and more people are likely to gather indoors.

Cases have been rising swiftly nationwide in recent weeks, raising fears of a tough fall and winter ahead.

“We’re going straight up again with the number of cases that are happening each day," Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said an interview with National Public Radio.

“Hospitalizations are up,” he said. “And I’m afraid inevitably that is going to result in an increase in deaths because that’s what happens every time with about a two- or three-week delay between those curves moving upward. And all of this, I’m afraid, happens because we have not succeeded in this country in introducing really effective public health measures, those simple things that we all could be doing.”

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“Wear your mask, keep that six-foot distance and don’t congregate indoors, whatever you do, and wash your hands. It’s so simple. And yet people are tired of it. And yet the virus is not tired of us,” Collins said.


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