State House News Service
In a sign of the power of the second COVID-19 surge that has been underway, Massachusetts jumped from 150,000 cumulative cases to 200,000 in just 25 days. Getting from 100,000 to 150,000, by comparison, took from June 1 until Oct. 28, a stretch of 149 days. More than 5,700 additional COVID-19 cases were confirmed over the weekend and the state hit another harrowing milestone Sunday by surpassing 200,000 confirmed infections since the start of the pandemic.
While new cases are being detected and counted in daily totals similar to those last seen in the spring, far more tests are being conducted this fall and the positive test rate is significantly lower than during the initial peak.
The 5,712 new cases reported across Saturday and Sunday came alongside reporting of 219,519 new tests, and the seven-day average positive test rate dropped from 3.5 percent last week to 3 percent on Saturday. Hospitalization data showed mixed trends over the weekend as the Baker administration prepares to reestablish field hospitals in case they become necessary.
Confirmed COVID-19 cases among hospitalized patients dropped from 904 on Friday to 893 on Sunday, but the count of cases in intensive care units increased over the same span from 179 to 192. The number of patients intubated also grew from 75 on Friday to 88 on Sunday. Statewide, 69 percent of non-ICU hospital beds and 53 percent of ICU beds were occupied Sunday, including both COVID cases and unrelated hospitalizations.