COVID rate increase down slightly in New Bedford, but hospitalizations at St. Luke's higher

·4 min read

Although still at very high numbers, COVID-19 cases in New Bedford dipped slightly from the previous week. Acushnet, Dartmouth and Fairhaven also reported a downward trend in infections.

However, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations increased at St. Luke’s Hospital from 64 the week before to 71 this week according to case numbers from the state Department of Public Health.

The Jan. 20 report from the DPH showed New Bedford having a total of 29,690 cases. The increase from the previous week is down by 835 cases.

The state's seven-day positivity rate continues to drop — and now sits at 15%, a little more than 5% lower than what the rate was one week ago. On Dec. 20, the state's seven-day positivity rate was 6.90%.

The seven-day average of hospitalizations stands at 3,200, which is higher than Thursday's number of hospitalizations, and indicates a likely downward trend. One month ago, the seven-day average of hospitalizations was 1,496 on Dec. 20.

State health officials said 1,503 of the patients in Massachusetts hospitals are COVID-19 breakthrough cases, or 48% of all hospitalizations.

A breakthrough case is when an individual tests positive for COVID-19 after they've been fully vaccinated against the disease.

According to data from the MDPH as of Jan. 20, the following cities and towns have reported the difference in new positive COVID-19 cases since the Jan. 6 report:

  • Acushnet: 203 (compared to 265 the week before)

  • Dartmouth: 516 (compared to 703 the week before)

  • Fairhaven: 255 (compared to 344 the week before)

  • New Bedford: 2,010 (compared to 2,845 the week before)

Cases of COVID in Greater New Bedford schools

Here are the numbers from the Jan. 13 to Jan. 19, 2022 report from the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

  • New Bedford Public Schools: 454 students, 73 staff (457 students, 116 staff the week before)

  • Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical: 67 students, 23 staff (93 students, 19 staff the week before)

  • Acushnet: 20 students, 5 staff (33 students, 9 staff the week before)

  • Dartmouth: 138 students, 13 staff (173 students, 24 staff the week before)

  • Fairhaven: 58 students, 11 staff (103 students, 14 staff the week before)

Vaccination rates

New Bedford vaccination rates as of Jan. 18 stands at 64,619 individuals partially vaccinated and 55,286 fully vaccinated out of the total 99,980 population.


  • Individuals with at least one dose: 71%

  • Fully vaccinated individuals: 64%

  • Boosted: 29%


  • Individuals with at least one dose: 65%

  • Fully vaccinated individuals: 57%

  • Boosted: 28%


  • Individuals with at least one dose: 76%

  • Fully vaccinated individuals: 68%

  • Boosted: 33%

New Bedford

  • Individuals with at least one dose: 65%

  • Fully vaccinated individuals: 55%

  • Boosted: 19%

Children ages 5-11 vaccination rates

New Bedford

  • Children with at least one dose: 17%

  • Fully vaccinated children: 11%


  • Children with at least one dose: 23%

  • Fully vaccinated children: 17%


  • Children with at least one dose: 26%

  • Fully vaccinated children: 20%


  • Children with at least one dose: 30%

  • Fully vaccinated children: 23%

Hospitalizations in New Bedford area

According to state data as of Jan. 19, St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford has a total of 71 confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations including ICU. The hospital has a total of 10 confirmed COVID-19 ICU Census. There were 64 confirmed cases and 8 ICU census in the Jan. 12 report.

Local vaccination clinics

NOTE: All minors need parental consent, provided either in advance online, or in-person at the school or location where the Pfizer for ages 12+ are being offered.

Monday, Jan. 24:

Andrea McCoy Recreation Center (181 Hillman St.) – 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., Pfizer, Moderna, J&J, boosters, vaccines for children 5 – 11, boosters for teens 12-17

Wednesday, Jan. 26:

Cape Verdean Veterans Memorial Hall (561 Purchase St.), – 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Pfizer, Moderna, J&J, boosters, vaccines for children 5 – 11, boosters for teens 12-17

Thursday, Jan. 27:

William Taylor Elementary School (71 Portland St.) – 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Pfizer, Moderna, boosters, vaccines for children 5 – 11, boosters for teens 12-17

Friday, Jan. 28:

PAACA (360 Coggeshall St.) – 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Pfizer, Moderna, J&J, boosters, w/ pediatric vaccines for children 5 – 11 years old & boosters for teens 12-17

To schedule an in-home vaccination with the New Bedford Health Department, call the department’s main line, 508-991-6199, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Get free COVID test kits from the US Government at

— With reports from WCVB

Standard-Times digital producer Linda Roy can be reached at You can follow her on Twitter at @LindaRoy_SCT. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Standard-Times.

This article originally appeared on Standard-Times: COVID rate increase down in New Bedford. Hospitalizations higher.

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