BOSTON (AP) — More than 1 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Massachusetts, according to state Department of Public Health data released Tuesday, as the omicron variant drives the latest surge in numbers.
With 9,228 cases announced Tuesday, the total number of cases since the start of the pandemic in March 2020 stands at 1,002,266, the agency announced. There were also 63 new deaths, bringing the total to 19,692.
Similar spikes in cases are being seeing across New England, despite the region having some of the country’s highest vaccination rates. Hospitals are filling up. Mask mandates are returning. More restaurants are closing due to coronavirus cases, and a growing number of universities are requiring students get booster shots.
The latest surge in Massachusetts prompted the state to order hospitals to postpone or cancel nonessential elective procedures. The ban went into effect Monday. The state also mobilized hundreds of members of the National Guard to help understaffed and stressed hospitals and ambulance services with nonclinical tasks, including transportation and security. The majority of new confirmed cases in the past two weeks are in people ages 20 to 39, the state said.
Fenway Park will again be used as a mass vaccination site starting early next month, state officials said Tuesday. The home of the Boston Red Sox should start administering vaccines Jan. 6, including booster shots, and will have the capacity to give out 1,300 jabs per day, according to a statement from the state Executive Office of Health and Human Services. A mass vaccination site opened at Fenway in February, but closed in late March because the Red Sox needed the park for the baseball season.
The state also announced four additional mass vaccination sites, the office said. Shots are already being given out at the Whittier Street Health Center in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood. Mass vaccination clinics are scheduled to open Jan. 5 at the Melnea Cass Recreation Complex in Roxbury and at North Shore Community College in Lynn, and at 2005 Bay Street in Taunton on Jan. 6.
Appointments at all five sites can be booked now, but they also accept walk-ins. Language translation services will be available at all sites. Residents age 5 and older can receive their primary series of COVID-19 vaccinations, and residents age 16 and older can get booster shots.
These sites are in addition to nearly 1,000 locations statewide where residents can receive COVID-19 vaccines or boosters.