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Mass. coronavirus death toll passes 11,000

Under the supervision of the Rhode Island National Guard, 1,100-1,400 PCR COVID-19 tests have been performed daily at the Rhode Island Convention Center.
Under the supervision of the Rhode Island National Guard, 1,100-1,400 PCR COVID-19 tests have been performed daily at the Rhode Island Convention Center.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

The number of Massachusetts confirmed coronavirus deaths reached over 11,000 on Friday, passing a tragic milestone as the state experiences a dismaying second surge.

The death toll from confirmed cases increased by 47 to 11,010, the Department of Public Health reported. With probable cases added, the total was 11,257.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Massachusetts rose by 5,475, while the seven-day average rose to 4,639. The state has now tallied a total of 269,929 cases in the pandemic.

The agency also said 65,741 people were estimated to have active cases of the potentially deadly virus, and 1,605 confirmed coronavirus patients were in the hospital.

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The state, which suffered badly in the springtime surge, is seeing cases, hospitalizations, and deaths rising again. Governor Charlie Baker this week announced new steps to stop the spread, while imploring people to keep their guard up against the virus. Hope has been raised by the imminent arrival of vaccines, but initial supplies will be limited, and officials are warning of dark, difficult months ahead.

The public health department also reported that 99,181 more tests had been conducted for coronavirus. The total number of tests administered climbed to more than 9.37 million. New antigen tests had been completed for 2,344 people, bringing that total to 293,014.


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 5.7 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 7.78 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 1,498 to 1,529. The lowest that metric has been is 140.

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

Meanwhile, the amount of coronavirus traces found in wastewater coming from the northern section of the MWRA system, which includes Boston, dipped slightly, while the numbers from the southern section continued to rise to new heights.

Both sections have surpassed the levels that were detected during the springtime surge, according to data posted by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. The data, which state officials are monitoring for signals of where the pandemic is headed, reflected tests conducted up to Thursday.

Massachusetts’ surge comes as the nation, as a whole, is seeing rising coronavirus cases and deaths. The next few months are “going to be really tough” in the United States, Dr. Robert R. Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warned Thursday.

The much-cited University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation model predicts the nation could see a total of around 500,000 coronavirus deaths by April 1.

Peter Bailey-Wells of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Material from Globe wire services was also used.



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