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Mass. reports 4,821 new confirmed coronavirus cases, 75 new deaths

Drive-through coronavirus testing earlier this month in Randolph
Drive-through coronavirus testing earlier this month in RandolphCraig F. Walker/Globe Staff

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Massachusetts rose by 4,821 Thursday, while the seven-day average was 4,230.

The new cases brought the state’s pandemic total to 462,910.

The death toll from confirmed cases increased by 75 to 13,622, the Department of Public Health reported.

Since the fall, the state has seen an alarming rise in cases of the deadly virus, accompanied by a smaller rise in the number of deaths. In recent days, the surge seems to have lost its steam. Governor Charlie Baker, citing improvements in the data, said Thursday he would ease some coronavirus restrictions in Massachusetts.

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State health officials also reported Thursday that the majority of communities in Massachusetts, including Boston, have high rates of coronavirus infections — but for many, the numbers are trending downward. For example, during Jan. 1 through Jan. 19, 4.6 percent of people tested in Boston were positive. That’s considered a high rate, but it’s down from 5.9 percent during the Jan. 1 through Jan.12 period.

Statewide, the average daily incidence rate per 100,000 people was 75.5 during the Jan. 1 through Jan. 19 period, and the positivity rate was 6.85 percent. Though still considered high, both those numbers are slightly lower than in the Jan.1 through Jan.12 report.

“The health care system is making progress on vaccinating front-line health care workers, long-term care residents, and long-term care staff,” he said.

Meanwhile, the vaccination effort continues. As of Thursday, 86,230 doses of vaccines against coronavirus had been administered in the previous seven days, bringing the total number of shots given so far to 359,919. That’s 61 percent of the doses shipped to Massachusetts.

Among those who have received at least one dose of the vaccine, about 3 percent are Black and 41 percent are white. Nearly two-thirds are between the ages of 30 and 69. But as the vaccination effort in nursing homes ramps up, the proportion of those older than 70 who got vaccinated has increased over the past week from less than 3 percent to 12.2 percent.

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Baker on Thursday expressed hope that more doses of the coronavirus vaccine could soon be made available by the Biden administration, and that additional vaccination sites could be coming to Massachusetts.

Baker made the comments at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough following a tour of the mass COVID-19 vaccination site that opened there Monday for first responders. A second mass vaccination site at Fenway Park is slated to open Feb. 1.

The DPH also said 88,929 people were estimated to have active cases of the potentially deadly virus, and 2,152 confirmed coronavirus patients were in the hospital.

The DPH reported that 111,726 more tests had been conducted for coronavirus. The total number of tests administered climbed to more than 12.64 million. New antigen tests had been completed for 4,573 people, bringing that total to 442,175.


The DPH reported that the seven-day average rate of positive tests, which is calculated from the total number of tests administered, was at 5.57 percent. The lowest observed figure for that metric — a number watched closely by state officials — is 0.8 percent.

The DPH said the rate would be 7.1 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.

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Massachusetts education officials also said Thursday that 934 cases had been reported by local school officials between Jan. 14 and 20. Of those cases, 544 occurred among students and 390 among staff members.

To take a deeper dive into the state’s coronavirus statistics click here. To check out the state’s weekly vaccine statistics report, 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. Felice J. Freyer can be reached at felice.freyer@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @felicejfreyer.