Here’s a look at where Massachusetts stands, looking at data from six different metrics.
The seven-day average of COVID-19 cases on Thursday was 2,324, nearly four times higher than where the weekly average of cases stood on March 16, when it bottomed out at 604 after the winter surge.
The state’s percent positivity rate has also been rising since mid-March, according to data from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. On March 17, the percent positivity in Massachusetts was 1.64 percent. That number has been climbing each week, and reached 5.04 percent on Thursday, the data show.
The rise in cases comes after Massachusetts had seen a drop in its percent positivity rate after the Omicron variant fueled a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases that peaked at the beginning of this year. Now, a subvariant of Omicron, BA.2, is behind the recent rise.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that BA.2 accounts for nearly 70 percent of COVID-19 cases in the country, though the levels of another Omicron subvariant, BA.2.12.1circulating in the country has been increasing.
After rising through most of April, the levels of COVID-19 detected in Boston-area waste water appeared to be ticking lower.
In the most recent waste water report, however, the levels of COVID-19 appeared to inch up slightly in both the northern section of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority’s systemand the southern section.
COVID-19 hospitalizations have also been increasing slightly since mid-April, with the seven-day average standing at about 400, according to the most recent data from the state.
That number, however, is significantly lower than where Massachusetts COVID hospitalizations have stood as the virus was surging in the state. The Omicron variant brought the seven-day average of hospitalizations to more than 3,200 in mid-January.
The CDC says seven Massachusetts counties now have “medium” community levels of COVID-19, up from three just two weeks ago. The rest of the state’s counties are considered to have “low” levels.
According to the CDC, Barnstable, Berkshire, Hampshire, Hampden, Middlesex, Norfolk, and Suffolk have “medium” levels of COVID.
If you live in a county with a medium level, you should take additional precautions. Among them: If you are at high risk for severe illness, talk to your health care provider about whether you need to wear a mask or take other protective measures. If you have contact with someone at high risk for severe disease, consider self-testing before meeting them and wearing a mask when indoors with them, the CDC recommends.
If you live in a county with a low level of the virus, you should stay up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines and get tested if you have symptoms.
The seven-day average of COVID-19 deaths in Massachusetts has remained level in the last month, hovering around 5 deaths, data show.
The weekly average of deaths has remained stable after Massachusetts steadily descended the Omicron peak, which took the seven-day average of deaths to about 65 toward the end of January.
Still, the United States is inching toward the devastating milestone of 1 million deaths due to the virus. The latest forecast from the CDC shows the United States will reach that number next month.
COVID-19 in Massachusetts public schools
COVID-19 cases also appear to be rising slightly in Massachusetts public schools. Students and faculty recently returned from April break, and experts have cautioned throughout the pandemic that cases may increase after vacation periods due to travel.
Andrew Lover, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, noted that the school break last week may have affected the recent in COVID-19 metrics in the state. “We need to wait another week or two to have a really good sense of what’s going on,” Lover said. “Fingers crossed.”
On Thursday, the state in its weekly report on COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts public schools reported 6,309 new cases among students and 2,339 among staff over a two-week period.
Adria Watson of the Globe Staff contributed to this report.
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