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Mass. reports 5,356 new confirmed coronavirus cases, 41 new deaths

A man is given a COVID-19 test at a mobile testing site last month.
A man is given a COVID-19 test at a mobile testing site last month.Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

The state ended a record-breaking week in the coronavirus epidemic by reporting 5,356 new confirmed coronavirus cases in Massachusetts on Saturday, bringing the total to 242,812.

The death toll from confirmed cases increased by 41 to 10,715, the Department of Public Health reported.

The latest figures were reported as Massachusetts plans to reopen a field hospital for COVID-19 patients on Sunday at the DCU Center in downtown Worcester.

The field hospital operated by UMass Memorial Health Care can accommodate up to 220 patients and has been designed to offer more services than the first coronavirus treatment outpost that operated there in the spring.

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A field hospital is also being planned for Lowell.

DPH said 54,199 people were estimated to have active cases of the potentially deadly virus, and 1,428 confirmed coronavirus patients were in the hospital.

The public health department also reported that 106,116 more tests had been conducted for coronavirus. The total number of tests administered climbed to more than 8.8 million. New antigen tests had been completed for 3,241 people, bringing that total to 279,060.


The state also reported that the seven-day average rate of positive tests, which is calculated from the total number of tests administered, was at 5.4 percent. The lowest observed figure for that metric — a number watched closely by state officials — is 0.8 percent.

The state said the rate would be 7.45 percent if the effect of college testing programs — in which asymptomatic people can be tested repeatedly in an effort to rapidly identify new cases — is factored out.

The seven-day average of hospitalized coronavirus patients rose from 1,210 to 1,264. The lowest that metric has been is 155.

The state expects to receive about 300,000 doses of the first COVID-19 vaccines in the coming weeks.

Dr. Paul Biddinger, director of emergency preparedness at Massachusetts General Hospital and chairman of Governor Charlie Baker’s vaccine advisory group, has said the state expects to receive an initial shipment of 60,000 doses of the first vaccine, made by Pfizer, if federal regulators approve it for emergency use.

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Emergency authorization of a second vaccine, from Moderna, could follow soon after and boost the state’s total doses to 300,000 by year-end or the first week of January, he has said.

That would supply the first doses for about 300,000 high-priority residents; all of them would receive second doses of the two-dose vaccine regimen when subsequent shipments arrive early next year.

To take a deeper dive into the state’s coronavirus statistics, click here.


Laura Crimaldi can be reached at laura.crimaldi@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @lauracrimaldi.