Massachusetts coronavirus cases rise 3,659, hospitalizations up as first vaccines given to Soldiers’ Homes vets

Massachusetts health officials on Tuesday reported 58 new coronavirus deaths and 3,659 new cases, as statewide hospitalizations continued to tick up, while the first vaccine doses were administered to veterans in the hard-hit Soldiers’ Homes in Holyoke and Chelsea.
Tuesday’s count of 3,659 cases comes after Monday’s 4,060 cases, Sunday’s 2,973 cases and an average of 3,712 cases over the prior two days. Cases have shot up since Thanksgiving, as have hospitalizations across the state.
Tuesday’s 58 new virus deaths and two probable virus deaths bring the state’s total COVID-19 death toll to 12,218. The seven-day average of daily deaths has increased from about 30 in late November to 49 now. The seven-day average of daily deaths peaked at 161 in May.
Of Massachusetts’ 361,079 total recorded cases, at least 229,910 people have recovered. Health officials estimate there are 78,215 active cases across the state.
The seven-day weighted average of the state’s positive test rate — removing higher education institutions — has been surging for weeks. That number at the start of September was 1.63%, but the rate is now 8.58%.
Statewide coronavirus hospitalizations on Tuesday rose by 27 patients, bringing the hospitalization total to 2,259.
The 2,259 patients is a major jump from 436 patients at the start of November. The highest peak of Massachusetts’ coronavirus hospitalizations was 3,965 on April 21.
Of the state’s 12,218 total coronavirus deaths, 7,291 are connected to long-term care facilities.
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The U.S. has recorded more than 337,000 coronavirus deaths. The country’s death toll is the highest in the world.
More than 19.4 million coronavirus cases have been recorded in the U.S. — also the most in the world.

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