Massachusetts reports 3,004 new coronavirus cases


State House News Service

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker.

By Frankie Rowley

Massachusetts reported 3,004 new coronavirus cases Sunday, down from the 3,378 new infections reported Saturday. The death toll rose by 76.  

The 1,968 cases reported Tuesday marked the lowest number Massachusetts has seen since Nov. 30, when the state reported 1,116 confirmed cases. The figure has not dipped below 2,000 since then. 

Infections have declined steadily in the state in the past month, after Christmas holiday travel and gatherings likely drove up case numbers, resulting in record highs approximately two weeks after the holiday. 

On Friday The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced two new cases of the B.1.1.7  variant of COVID-19 had been found in Massachusetts. Massachusetts has now reported seven cases of the variant first found in the United Kingdom which is believed to be up to 50 percent more transmissible than the strains of the virus currently spreading. 

The only other New England state to report cases of the B.1.1.7 variant is Connecticut, which has a total of 17 confirmed cases.

Boston will follow the statewide capacity increase on select businesses, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced Friday. Effective on Feb. 8, certain businesses, such as restaurants, museums, gyms, and movie theatres, will be allowed to operate at 40 percent capacity after being forced down to 25 percent capacity since Dec. 26. The decision comes just days after the state surpassed 500,000 total coronavirus cases Monday, after reaching 400,000 on Jan. 8. 

The state reports two COVID-19 positivity rates—one with higher education testing and one without. The seven-day test positivity rate with higher education removed sits at 4.8 percent Sunday, up from the 3.6 percent reported this time last week. The rate that includes higher education sits at 3.1 percent.

The state reported 1,389 total hospitalizations Saturday, down from the 1,676 reported this time last week. Hospitalizations in the state have declined in recent weeks, falling by 606 since Jan. 24, after rising by nearly 300 week over week during much of November and early December.

Emerson reported one new positive COVID-19 test Friday out of the 1,172 tests administered on Feb. 3. The college’s cumulative positive tests since testing began on Aug. 6 sits at 115. Emerson’s cumulative testing total sits at 64,125. 

The one new positive reported Friday brings the spring semester total to 55, after nearly four full weeks of testing. In the fall, the college reported 60 positives across the four months testing was administered.