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Mass. coronavirus cases rise by 1,761; 23 deaths reported

The NEW Health (North End Waterfront) walk-up COVID-19 testing site in the North End.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Massachusetts rose by a staggering 1,761 Thursday, bringing the state’s total to 160,698.

The massive increase tops even the 1,629 new cases the state reported Wednesday and is the highest daily count of new cases seen since the spring. But it is lower than the heights of April, when the daily count repeatedly topped 2,000 and even surpassed 3,000 on April 23.

The death toll from confirmed cases increased by 23 to 9,859, the Department of Public Health reported.

State officials also reported Thursday that 86,359 more people had been tested for coronavirus. The total number of tests administered climbed to more than 6.46 million. New antigen tests had been completed for 2,096 people, bringing that total to 197,543.


The report did not include the weekly town-by-town data usually released on Thursdays. The state said community-level data will be released Friday instead.

State education officials said separately Thursday that 154 new coronavirus cases were reported among students and 98 among school staff members during the week that ended Wednesday. Officials are not tracking when these cases occur, only when local school officials report them to the state.

The seven-day average rate of positive tests, which is calculated from the total number of tests administered, remained at 1.9 percent for a fifth consecutive day. The lowest observed figure for that metric — a number watched closely by state officials — is 0.8 percent.

The seven-day average of hospitalized coronavirus patients rose from 437 to 456 in Thursday’s report. The lowest that metric has been is 155.

The seven-day average of deaths from confirmed cases dipped from 18 to 17 on Thursday; the lowest that number has been is 11.

This week, the state changed the way it reports some statistics related to positive tests, introducing a new metric that attempts to isolate the effect of public health programs undertaken by colleges, in which asymptomatic people can be tested repeatedly in an effort to rapidly identify new cases.


On Thursday, the state said the seven-day rate would be 3.47 percent if not for people tested in higher education settings. However, the state’s overall rate still includes others who might be repeatedly tested, such as health care workers, long-term care providers and residents, and first responders.

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