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COVID-19 numbers have been rising dramatically in Mass since December. These 7 graphs show just how fast they measure

COVID-19 numbers have been rising dramatically in Mass since December. These 7 graphs show just how fast they measure

The fact that the Omicron coronavirus variant may spread across the world has raised alarm and alarming headlines in the last week. However, as it has sparked interest, the Delta variant, which, according to officials, represents nearly 100 percent of the cases in the United States, continues to infect people.

Deaths have not risen as sharply in Massachusetts, and those metrics and numerous others are generating alarming predictions about where the epidemic may take place next in Massachusetts: COVID-19 case totals have risen more than 150 percent in Massachusetts, and hospitalizations have nearly doubled in the previous several weeks. Deaths have not risen as sharply. Heres a look at those metrics and other that are bringing disturbing signals about where the epidemic might go next in the state:

Cases in which you are facing

After dropping somewhat from a spike in September, COVID-19 cases had climbed to a plateau, moving rapidly upwards.

According to data from the state Department of Public Health, the seven-day average of reported COVID-19 cases was 1,180 on Nov. 2,993, a 154 percent increase.

Low figures were reported as people relaxed during Thanksgiving holiday and weekend, but the seven-day average got a significant increase with single-day increases of 4,838 cases on Dec. 1 and 5,170 on Dec. 2.

Comparing this year to last year's cases, this year saw comparisons to last year's cases.

Case numbers at this point are comparable to those of Massachusetts at the same time last year, however this year, these numbers are lifting off from the plateau following the September spike rather than from extremely low levels as they did in the late summer and early fall of 2020.

Hospitalizations are available in the United States.

COVID-19 hospitalizations climbed to 502. On Dec. 1, there were 989, a 97 percent increase.

Hospitalizations due to frequent infections are a result of rising infection breakthroughs in hospitals.

Those breakthrough case numbers have risen slightly from 168 on Nov. 4 to 370 on Dec. 1, or 120 percent, despite the fact that they are considered the most important weapon in fighting the pandemic. The vaccinations, even if they are considered the most important tool in battling the epidemic, aren't 100 percent effective.

Positivity of a Test

The overall positivity rate since Dec. 1 has quadrupled to 4.94 percent, according to the two other metrics. (Note: The overall positivity rate number includes the results of routine college surveillance tests of individuals who are asymptomatic.)


Experts and officials have said that the seven-day average of daily reported COVID-19 deaths has not been as evident as it has been in cases and hospitalizations. It has fluctuated from 10 to 15 deaths per day since late October.

Looking ahead: Wastewater surveillance data.

The wastewater coming into the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority's Deer Island treatment facility is showing increasing traces of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which experts believe may be a harbinger of more cases to come. Cambridge-based Biobot Analytics, which tests the water for the MWRA, claims that the amount of virus in the wastewater is correlated with newly diagnosed coronavirus cases four to 10 days later.

What it means to describe what it means.

Experts estimate the numbers are baffling, and it's time for people to ensure they're vaccinated and enhanced, as well as take precautions.

Dr. Paul Sax, clinical director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Brigham and Women's Hospital, added, "It's a reassignment that COVID is far from gone."

Theres a lot of COVID in the community right now, so people need to be cautious. The severe cases continue to occur mostly in unvaccinated individuals, as well as in people who were vaccinated but have other medical conditions that make them less likely to respond to treatment, he replied in an e-mail.

Right now we're on a trajectory very similar to last winter, thus our vigorous effort to get everyone either their first shot (if unvaccinated) or their third (if its been six months or more since their second shot), he said.

Patients are unquestionably admitted to breakthrough infections, so there's more COVID. The vaccine effectiveness is waning.

Shira Doron, Dr. Shira Doron, is a lawyer who lives in New York City.

If you haven't been vaccinated yet, Dr. Sabrina Assoumou, an infectious disease physician at Boston Medical Center and an assistant professor at the Boston University School of Medicine, said, "We have the solution, and it's called vaccination." If you've already been vaccinated, it's time to obtain a booster to provide you the extra protection that you'll need."

She also stated that people should wear masks in indoor public spaces, be tested, such as using quick, at-home tests, and increase ventilation.

Deaths have not been rising yet at the same level we would have expected, Assoumou stated, adding that increases in deaths have tended to lag increases in cases by several weeks, despite the fact that increases in deaths have tended to have been higher in cases.

The coronavirus data grew, according to Dr. Shira Doron, an infectious disease physician who is Tufts Medical Center's hospital epidemiologist, "not good news, obviously."

There's more COVID. The vaccine effectiveness is waning, she says, as patients are definitely admitted due to breakthrough infections.

She also sounded optimistic, adding that there has been a decoupling of deaths and hospitalizations in a large way.

The true hospitalization data does not give the whole picture, because it may include individuals who were hospitalized for different reasons, who were then tested and discovered to have COVID-19, Doron said.

She stressed that redoublements of efforts for vaccinations, boosters, testing, and treatments like oral antivirals and monoclonal antibody therapy must be made.

We have all the tools to enable us to address this large number of cases,... Let's use them, Assoumou added.

This article was co-written by the Globe staff, with Felice Freyer and Sahar Fatima supporting it.

Martin Finucane can be reached at.

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