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Mass. reports 1,785 new confirmed coronavirus cases, 18 new deaths

Long lines stretched around Whale's Tooth Parking Lot as people wait for a coronavirus test in New Bedford on Monday.
Long lines stretched around Whale's Tooth Parking Lot as people wait for a coronavirus test in New Bedford on Monday.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Massachusetts rose by 1,785 on Monday.

The new daily case number, which brought the state’s total to 201,835, represented a brief letup in the state’s second surge. The seven-day average of daily cases was 2,500 going into Monday.

The death toll from confirmed cases increased by 18 to 10,299, the Department of Public Health reported.

The DPH said 40,202 people were estimated to have active cases of the potentially deadly virus.

State officials also reported that 52,280 more tests had been conducted for coronavirus. The total number of tests administered climbed to more than 7.92 million. New antigen tests had been completed for 641 people, bringing that total to 245,501.

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The seven-day average rate of positive tests, which is calculated from the total number of tests administered, was at 3.1 percent. 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 872 to 892. The lowest that metric has been is 155.

The seven-day average of deaths from confirmed cases was 23; the lowest that number has been is 11.

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.

On Monday, the state said the seven-day rate would be 4.82 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.

Governor Charlie Baker called on people Monday to celebrate Thanksgiving only with members of their immediate households to curb the spread of the virus.

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In related news, the amount of coronavirus detected in the wastewater from Boston and other communities in the northern section of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority system has continued to edge higher, reaching the highest levels yet this fall, according to the latest data.

The amount of coronavirus detected in the wastewater from the southern section of the system ticked downward slightly from the highest point it has reached this fall.

The pilot program looks for SARS-CoV-2 RNA copies per milliliter of wastewater. Samples are taken at the MWRA’s Deer Island treatment plant. The latest data, which is posted on the MWRA website, covers samples collected up until Thursday.

Coronavirus traces found in wastewater from the northern section of the MWRA system have reached their highest levels yet this fall.
Coronavirus traces found in wastewater from the northern section of the MWRA system have reached their highest levels yet this fall.MWRA


Coronavirus traces found in wastewater from the southern section of the MWRA system have ticked down from their highest levels this fall.
Coronavirus traces found in wastewater from the southern section of the MWRA system have ticked down from their highest levels this fall.MWRA

The data and charts posted by the MWRA have been updated and reformatted after the contractor doing the work, Biobot Analytics Inc. of Cambridge, “updated its data processing protocol to improve the accuracy of the wastewater surveillance results,” MWRA said on its website.

“Biobot has gone back and applied its most current data analysis methods to all the data generated for MWRA. The update included re-processing of all archived wastewater sample results for samples collected since the beginning of March 2020,” the MWRA said.

The new data, like the old data, show two major surges in virus detections, one in the spring and one happening now. The new data differ from the old, however, in suggesting that there is a bigger gap in size between the larger spring surge and the current surge.

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The old data had indicated that for the southern section of the system the current levels were exceeding the springtime levels. The new data says the current levels are still below the springtime peak.

Travis Andersen of the Globe staff contributed to this report.





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