Health officials in Massachusetts reported another 2,263 cases of COVID-19 and 30 new deaths on Saturday, with some experts saying a fourth wave of the pandemic may already have arrived.
The update puts the total of confirmed cases at 605,055 and the death toll at 16,938, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Another 343 deaths are considered probably linked to COVID-19.
The seven-day average positive ticked down from 2.55% in Friday’s data to 2.44% on Saturday. That figure had been below 2% as recently as March 16.
The number of patients in Massachusetts hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 cases increased again. Of the 707 people hospitalized, 164 were listed as being in intensive care units and 93 were intubated, according to health officials.
Health officials' projection of active COVID-19 cases continues to rise, jumping from 33,424 on Friday to 34,157 on Saturday.
Many of the state's coronavirus metrics had been trending downward after a peak at the very start of the year, before leveling off and then rising in recent weeks, according to the Department of Public Health's interactive coronavirus dashboard.
In a one-on-one interview, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker reflected on his administration’s rollout of the coronavirus vaccine.
According to Saturday's vaccine report, 1,450,030 Massachusetts residents are fully vaccinated against the virus. More than 3.8 million total doses have been administered in the state, including 2,382,102 first dose shots of either Pfizer of Moderna.
More than 96,000 Bay State residents have received Johnson & Johnson's single-shot vaccine.
Despite a growing number of Massachusetts residents getting vaccinated for the coronavirus, cases of COVID-19 in the Bay State continue to rise.
The number of Massachusetts communities at the highest risk of coronavirus transmission has nearly doubled after rising the last two weeks. The town-by-town coronavirus data released Thursday showed 55 communities in the high-risk red zone, up from 32 last week and 20 the week before.
This comes as the Bay State readies to fully re-open elementary schools for in-person learning Monday. Communities that have received waivers from the state are exempt from the order.
Families plan to gather outside the State House at 3p.m. saying they were excluded from the state's decision-making process to reopen schools.
Just last week, Massachusetts schools reported 1,045 new COVID-19 cases among students and staff, marking the highest-ever weekly tally of cases.
The jump mirrors an uptick in cases in the general population, as well as increased testing capacity among school districts, experts say.