Massachusetts reports 6,477 new coronavirus cases, highest single day total of pandemic


Sam Doran/State House News Service

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker.

By Charlie McKenna

Massachusetts reported 6,477 new coronavirus cases Thursday, the highest single-day total reported in the state since the pandemic began, and a dramatic rise from the 4,613 new infections reported Wednesday, and the 2,845 reported Tuesday. The state’s death total rose by 46.

Thursday’s total includes 680 positive results identified at a Massachusetts laboratory prior to Dec. 1, which were delayed due to a software error. Even excluding the 680 late results, Thursday’s case total is the highest mark the state has ever hit. Daily case numbers are now surpassing totals reported at the virus’ first peak in April. Even then, new cases did not surpass 4,000 in back to back days. 

New infections in the state have steadily risen since mid-September, but have exploded in recent days. Now in the midst of a second wave, city and state officials are warning against holiday travel and gatherings, which experts say could accelerate the spread of the virus. Experts have said the surge in recent days is likely not a result of Thanksgiving travel and gatherings. New cases related to the holiday will begin showing up over the next two weeks, they said.

Gov. Charlie Baker said Thursday that the uptick in cases reflects “widespread” community transmission.

The state recently changed the way it reports COVID-19 positivity rates, separating higher education testing into its own category. The seven-day test positivity rate with higher education testing removed sits at 6.85 percent, up from 4.61 percent just yesterday. 

Hospitalizations from COVID-19 are currently surging. On Thursday, the state reported 1,324 total hospitalizations, compared to 613 this time last month.

Emerson reported no new positives on just 56 new tests administered on Wednesday.