QUINCY – The rise in COVID-19 cases is showing no signs of slowing down.
For the eighth straight week, the number of cases statewide and on the South Shore increased, the state Department of Public Health reported on Thursday. New case numbers increased in all 23 communities surveyed, some by more than 50%, over a week ago.
A separate report from the state's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education showed an increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the state's schools, both among students and staff. For the week ending Wednesday, 14,878 new cases were reported among the state's grade K-12 students, an 11.2% increase over the prior week, while the 4,090 cases among school staff was an increase of about 1%.
Levels of the virus in the region's wastewater, a predictor of future cases, is also on the upswing, the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority reported. The MWRA's South Region includes seven South Shore municipalities.
Massachusetts Medical Society President Dr. Carole Allen said in a statement on Monday that while the collective hope is for a reprieve of some sort from the virus, "it is important to recognize that COVID-19 is still with us and we need to continue to utilize the proven public health measures to prevent infection and disease spread."
That means getting vaccinated and booster shots, wearing masks indoors or while in large groups and for high-risk individuals to limit their exposure to others, she said.
In the 23 communities on the South Shore, the number of COVID-19 cases for the two weeks ending May 14 was 3,401, the Department of Public Health reported in its weekly breakdown of cases by city and town. That is an increase of 27.5% over the 2,668 cases from the week before.
The state count only includes lab-confirmed cases, not ones found with home test kits.
Three communities had rates higher than the statewide average of 51.2 cases per day per 100,000 people. They are Hanover, with a rate of 64.6, Hingham and Milton. The lowest rate is in Hanson at 28.5.
In Thursday's daily report, the state health department said there were 4,957 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state's total for the pandemic to 1,687,023.
There were 866 people in the state's hospitals with COVID-19 on Thursday, a 19% increase from the 728 patients a week earlier. There were 74 patients with COVID-19 in intensive care units, up from 66 a week earlier and 26 people on breathing equipment, down one from the week before.
The state reported 14 new deaths Thursday, bringing the total number of Massachusetts deaths to 19,315. A total of 72 deaths were reported in the past week.
The total number of COVID-19 cases around the country over the course of the pandemic is approaching 83 million, and the number of deaths has passed the 1 million mark.
The following is a list of the number of cases by community for the two weeks ending May 14, the average daily rate of cases per 100,000 people over the two-week period and the total number of cases since the pandemic began. The statistics do not include the results of home tests.
Abington: 84 cases; 32.9 rate; 4,026 total
Braintree: 194 cases; 34.9 rate; 9,284 total
Carver: 67 cases; 39.1 rate; 2,306 total
Cohasset: 51 cases; 49.5 rate; 1,239 total
Duxbury: 93 cases; 43.9 rate; 2,669 total
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Halifax: 43 cases; 40.2 rate; 1,535 total
Hanover: 130 cases; 64.6 rate; 4,302 total
Hanson: 43 cases; 28.5 rate; 2,317 total
Hingham:191 cases; 56.8 rate; 4,540 total
Holbrook: 62 cases; 39.1 rate; 2,728 total
Hull: 47 cases; 34.3 rate, 1,439 total.
Kingston: 62 cases; 32.4 rate; 2,991 total.
Marshfield: 120 cases; 33.1 rate; 4,583 total
Milton: 217 cases; 53.9 rate; 6,145 total
Norwell: 69 cases; 46 rate; 2,209 total
Pembroke: 122 cases; 46.4 rate; 3,793 total
Plymouth: 282 cases; 32.1 rate; 13,665 total
Quincy: 711 cases; 50 rate; 19,664 total
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Randolph: 233 cases; 48.3 rate; 10,008 total
Rockland: 89 cases; 35.1 rate; 4,441 total
Scituate: 93 cases; 36.7 rate; 3,060 total
Weymouth: 334 cases; 42.5 rate; 12,365 total
Whitman: 64 cases; 29.4 rate; 3,462 total
This article originally appeared on The Patriot Ledger: COVID-19 cases on South Shore have increased for eight straight weeks