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Mass. reports 3,720 new confirmed coronavirus cases, 55 new deaths

A shipment of coronavirus vaccine doses arrived at Boston Medical Center on Monday.
A shipment of coronavirus vaccine doses arrived at Boston Medical Center on Monday.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Massachusetts rose by 3,720 Tuesday, while the seven-day average climbed to 4,745.

The new cases brought the state’s total to 286,866.

The death toll from confirmed cases increased by 55 to 11,190, the Department of Public Health reported.

The latest figures were released as Governor Charlie Baker and his health and human services chief beseeched residents to celebrate the coming holidays in-person with their households only.

“Unfortunately, a few days after Thanksgiving, we started seeing significant increases in new COVID-cases and hospitalizations,” Baker said at a State House press conference. “It has put a significant strain on our health care community.

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“I’m here today to say that we really can’t have them be the kind of consequential event that Thanksgiving has been here in Massachusetts,” he said.

His words were echoed by Melissa Jocelyn, nursing director at Massachusetts General Hospital.

“On behalf of all of our nurses and health care colleagues, I do want to join with the governor in asking, even begging, each of you to follow the state guidelines to refrain from gathering for the Christmas holidays,” Jocelyn said.

On Tuesday, the state said 72,587 people were estimated to have active cases of the potentially deadly virus, and 1,834 confirmed coronavirus patients were in the hospital.

The public health department also reported that 61,236 more tests had been conducted for coronavirus. The total number of tests administered climbed to more than 9.68 million. New antigen tests had been completed for 2,992 people, bringing that total to 303,783.


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 5.9 percent. The lowest observed figure for that metric — a number watched closely by state officials — is 0.8 percent.

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The state said the rate would be 7.72 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 1,644 to 1,684. The lowest that metric has been is 140.

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

In related news, a University of Massachusetts model predicts the number of coronavirus cases reported in Massachusetts will continue to rise, then stabilize around early January. The model only covers four weeks, but the closely watched University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation model, which attempts to look farther into the future, envisions a scenario where cases will begin to drop in mid-January.

Travis Andersen and Peter Bailey-Wells of the Globe staff contributed to this report.



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