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Mass. coronavirus deaths rise past 12,000

A pedestrian walked past the Broad Institute in Cambridge, which is doing COVID-19 test processing.
A pedestrian walked past the Broad Institute in Cambridge, which is doing COVID-19 test processing.Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

The number of confirmed coronavirus deaths in Massachusetts rose past 12,000 Wednesday, another tragic milestone for a state that has been wracked by the pandemic.

With 118 new deaths reported, the tally rose to 12,076. With probable cases added, the tally is 12,338, the Department of Public Health said.

The number of confirmed cases in Massachusetts rose by 6,135, while the seven-day average was 4,916. The new cases brought the state’s total to 352,558, the agency said.

The state has been experiencing an alarming second surge of cases. Officials on Wednesday urged people to avoid large New Year’s gatherings that could give the virus a chance to spread.


The DPH said 78,810 people were estimated to have active cases of the potentially deadly virus, and 2,257 confirmed coronavirus patients were in the hospital.

The agency also reported that 86,050 more tests had been conducted for coronavirus. The total number of tests administered climbed to more than 10.8 million. New antigen tests were completed for 7,538 people, bringing that total to 356,615.

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 8.4 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 9.37 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 2,139 to 2,167. The lowest that metric has been is 140.

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

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

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