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Mass. reports 4,985 new confirmed coronavirus cases, 44 new deaths

A man received a COVID-19 test at a mobile testing site.
A man received a COVID-19 test at a mobile testing site.Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Massachusetts rose Thursday by 4,985, while the seven-day average was 4,692.

The new cases brought the total to 297,301.

The death toll from confirmed cases increased by 44 to 11,305, the Department of Public Health reported.

State education officials also reported on Thursday 591 new coronavirus cases among public school students and 418 among staff members for the week ended Dec. 16. It was a record for total new cases reported in a single week this academic year.

The Department of Public Health said 76,215 people were estimated to have active cases of the potentially deadly virus, and 1,871 confirmed coronavirus patients were in the hospital.


The health department also reported that 92,627 more tests had been conducted for coronavirus. The total number of tests administered climbed to more than 9.9 million. New antigen tests had been completed for 3,580 people, bringing that total to 312,716.

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 6.0 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 7.9 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 1,723 to 1,761. The lowest that metric has been is 140.

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

Felicia Gans and Peter Bailey-Wells of the Globe staff contributed to this report.

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