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Mass. reports 2,991 new confirmed coronavirus cases, 19 new deaths

Lines of cars carry people to get tested for coronavirus COVID-19 in the parking lot of TJX Companies Inc.
Lines of cars carry people to get tested for coronavirus COVID-19 in the parking lot of TJX Companies Inc.Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

Massachusetts edged close to 3,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases Saturday, the state Department of Public Health reported, approaching a level not seen since the dark days of the pandemic’s height in the spring.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Massachusetts rose by 2,991 Saturday, bringing the state’s total to 197,329. The death toll from confirmed cases increased by 19 to 10,257, the Department of Public Health reported.

The number of new cases is the second-highest reported in the state since the beginning of the pandemic. The state’s one-day record for new reported cases stands at 3,079, which was reported on April 23.

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State officials also reported Saturday that 109,239 new tests had been conducted for the coronavirus. The total number of tests administered climbed to more than 7.75 million. New antigen tests had been completed for 4,054 people, bringing that total to 244,122, the state said Saturday.

The state’s seven-day average rate of positive tests, which is calculated from the total number of tests administered, was at 3.2 percent as of Friday. The lowest observed figure for that metric — a number watched closely by state officials — is 0.8 percent, last reported on Sept. 23.

The seven-day average of hospitalized coronavirus patients increased to 850 as of Friday’s report, a level that has not been seen since late June, when that average was 849 on June 27. The lowest that metric has been is 155 on Aug. 26.

The seven-day average number of deaths from confirmed cases was 24 as of Thursday; the lowest that number has been is 11 reported on Sept. 9.

The state recently 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.

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On Saturday, the state said the seven-day positivity rate would be 5.13 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.


John Hilliard can be reached at john.hilliard@globe.com.