BOSTON (WWLP/SHNS) – Seventeen cities and towns now fall in the Department of Public Health’s highest-risk category for COVID-19 transmission, including six newly added as of Wednesday.
The department’s weekly update to its color-coded risk designations added Nantucket, Plainville, Saugus, Tyngsboro, Worcester, and Wrentham to the “red” category assigned to communities with an incidence rate of more than eight cases per 100,000 residents in the previous 14 days. Chelsea, Dedham, Everett, Framingham, Lawrence, Lynn, Lynnfield, Monson, New Bedford, Revere and Winthrop remained coded red, while Chatham and Methuen shed their red designations from last week.
Public health officials announced Wednesday that they will now report COVID-19 data from colleges and universities, and this week’s report includes information from 59 higher education institutions that are testing on-campus. The higher education data is in aggregate and not broken down by school.
A total of 499 COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts are associated with higher education, according to the department, including 168 that are new since last week.
In the state as a whole, there has now been a total of 123,720 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 295 newly reported Wednesday. Twenty new deaths bring the death toll to 9,036, or 9,245 with fatalities among probable cases added in.
According to the Department of Public Health, 16,632 new tests were performed with a total of 1,996,662 individuals who have been tested by molecular tests with an overall of 3,075,812 molecular tests administered.
Antibody Tests: A total of 355 new individuals have tested positive with 117,107 total tests reported.
Antigen Tests: A total of 1,545 new individuals have tested positive with 112,394 total tests reported.
352 patients are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 with 66 patients that are in intensive care units.
Confirmed COVID-19 Cases:
- New Cases: 295
- Total Cases: 123,720
- New Deaths: 20
- Total Deaths: 9,036
Probable COVID-19 Cases
- New Cases: 11
- Total Cases: 1,979
- New Deaths: 0
- Total Deaths: 209
COVID-19 Cases in Long-Term Care Facilities
- Residents/Healthcare workers with probable or confirmed COVID-19: 24,740
- Facilities reporting at least one probable or confirmed case of COVID-19: 382
- Probable or confirmed COVID-19 deaths: 5,928
COVID Patient Census by Hospital
Data provided the day before by hospitals to DPH. Total patients of suspected and confirmed cases (including ICU)
- Berkshire Medical Center: 0
- Fairview Hospital: 0
- Baystate Franklin Medical Center: 1 patient, 1 ICU
- Baystate Medical Center: 17 patients, 3 ICU
- Baystate Noble Hospital: 4 patients
- Baystate Wing Hospital: 1 patient
- Holyoke Hospital: 4 patients
- Mercy Medical Center: 1 patient, 1 ICU
- Cooley Dickinson Hospital: 0
You can get more details about the COVID-19 cases in the Commonwealth here.
COVID-19 Molecular Test: Also known as a PCR test. This diagnostic test identifies the presence of virus’s genetic material. These tests are very accurate and a positive result means someone has current or very recent infection.
COVID-19 Antigen Test: This test identifies the presence of proteins on the surface of the virus. These diagnostic tests are somewhat less accurate (i.e., low sensitivity) than molecular tests but a positive result is suggestive of current infection.
COVID-19 Antibody Test: Also known as a serology test. This test identifies antibodies; antibodies are the proteins produced by the immune system to fight off an infection. Because antibodies take days to weeks to make after infection, a positive result indicates infection at some point in the past. It is not a diagnostic test.
Testing by Date: This refers to the date the sample (usually nasal swab or blood) was taken. Most reports and figures in this dashboard use this date.
Total Tests: This represents the total number of tests done and includes people who have had multiple tests.
Persons Tested: This represents the total number of persons who had at least one test done. If a person had more than one test, they are still counted only once.
Case Definition: A standard set of criteria (including symptoms, laboratory tests and exposure) used to count persons who may have COVID-19. Case definitions tell public health professionals which people with disease to count; they don’t tell healthcare providers how to diagnose or treat COVID.
Confirmed Case: A person is counted as a confirmed case of COVID-19 if they have a positive molecular test.
Probable Case: A person is counted as a probable case in four ways:
- if they have a positive antigen test AND have symptoms OR were exposed to someone with COVID;
- if they have a positive antibody test AND have symptoms OR were exposed to someone with COVID;
- if they have COVID symptoms AND were exposed to someone with COVID;
- if they died and their death certificate lists COVID as a cause of death.
More complete information about the COVID-19 case definition may be found here: https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.cste.org/resource/resmgr/ps/positionstatement2020/Interim-20-ID-02_COVID-19-19.pdf
Suspected Hospitalized Cases: Patients without a laboratory confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis but who, as determined by the hospital, have signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 (most patients with confirmed COVID-19 have developed fever and/or symptoms of acute respiratory illness, such as cough, shortness of breath, or myalgia/fatigue).