SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – More promising news continues to come out of Massachusetts as the test positivity rate has dropped in the last several weeks.

For the first time since November, the Massachusetts test positivity rate is below 2 percent. Health professionals are calling it the “light at the end of the tunnel.”

As COVID-related deaths in the united states surpass 500,000 there is some optimistic news out of our state. Over the weekend, Massachusetts’ test positivity rate fell below 2 percent. It hasn’t been that low since last fall and the vaccine rollout is a major factor.

“There are many people, over half a million who have had this infection here in Massachusetts that also have some natural immunity. “

More than 1 million Massachusetts residents have received the vaccine since distribution began.

According to the CDC, the vaccine itself is free, although doses are purchased by the government with U.S. taxpayer dollars. But, vaccination providers can charge an administration fee for giving someone a shot which is why you are asked to show your insurance card.

The CDC says that no one will be denied a vaccine if they are unable to pay the administration fee.

“It’s impacting racial groups differently. For non-Hispanic whites the drop was about 0.8 years, for Hispanics about 2 years and for blacks 2.7 years. So we know that this virus has impacted communities of color disproportionately and it has only exasperated these health disparities.”

The average lifetime fell from 78.8 years in 2019 to 77.8 years in 2020.