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The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Massachusetts climbed by 1,243 on Thursday, the sixth day in a row the daily tally has exceeded 1,000, as more than one-third of communities were declared high-risk for COVID-19, the state reported.

The new cases brought the state’s case total to 151,741, the death toll from confirmed cases rose by 27 to 9,727, the Department of Public Health reported.

Nationwide, the number of COVID-19 infections exceeded 9 million on Thursday, The New York Times reported.

In Massachusetts, there were 121 cities and towns — including Boston — designated high-risk for the virus Thursday, as Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the “Get The Test Boston” pledge, an initiative aimed at getting more people tested for the virus.


“I’m asking everyone to commit to getting tested for COVID-19. Getting tested is how you keep yourself and your family safe,” Walsh said at an afternoon briefing with reporters. “And it’s also how we track the presence of the virus in our community. ... If you’re leaving your house for any reason, you could be exposed. So I’m encouraging you to get tested and make it a regular part of your routine.”

Walsh reiterated a warning against large gatherings and said parties could be a problem over the Halloween weekend.

“There should be no parties this weekend,” Walsh said.

Communities designated high-risk have had more than 8 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 14 days. There were 77 communities, including Boston, in the red zone in last week’s report, up from 63 the week before, the Department of Public Health reported. The statewide average remained in the red zone, as well.

Boston’s average daily rate of infection per 100,000 residents was at 15.8, up from 12.0 last week, the department said. The statewide average daily rate was at 11.8, up from 9.2 last week.


State officials also reported Thursday that 18,333 more people had been tested for coronavirus since Wednesday’s report, bringing the total to more than 2.7 million. The number of tests administered climbed to more than 5.93 million. New antibody tests had been completed for 278 people, bringing that total to 126,754.

The seven-day average rate of positive tests, which is calculated from the total number of tests administered, remained at 1.8 percent for a fifth consecutive day after ticking up slowly from 1.1 percent at the beginning of October. The lowest observed figure for that metric — a number watched closely by state officials — is 0.8 percentt, a rate the state reached in mid-September before cases began ticking back up.

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 6.6 percent in Thursday’s report after dropping from 6.2 percent to 5.5 percent the day before.

Meanwhile, the three-day average of hospitalized coronavirus patients increased slightly from 566 to 570 in Thursday’s report. The lowest that metric has been is 302, which it last reached on Aug. 29.

The number of hospitals using surge capacity dropped from four to three, and the three-day average of deaths from confirmed cases remained at 21 for a third straight day; the lowest that number has been is nine.

After showing an alarming spike late last week, the amount of coronavirus traces found in wastewater at the Deer Island treatment plant has ticked down this week.


The data released by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority on Wednesday showed coronavirus traces decreasing in both the northern and southern sections of the MWRA system.

The data reflected samples collected through Monday. Even with the downtick, the levels were similar to those in early May and late April for the northern and southern sections, respectively.

The sampling of wastewater at the plant is a pilot program. Officials are hoping it can serve as an early warning system for surges in the pandemic.

The spike in detections of the virus in wastewater coincided last week with a sudden spike in cases.

Coronavirus traces in wastewater at Deer Island have ticked downward in recent days
Coronavirus traces in wastewater at Deer Island have ticked downward in recent daysMWRA

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