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MASSACHUSETTS — While Gov. Charlie Baker cautioned that the future of the coronavirus pandemic has proved difficult to predict over the past two years, he said "it does appear we are very much on the backside of the omicron surge in Massachusetts" on the day the state reported another decline in the positivity rate.
The state's seven-day positive rate of 17.44 percent reported on Tuesday was a sizeable drop from the 19.90 percent reported on Friday.
The state's positive rate hit a high of 23 percent on Jan. 5.
Hospitalizations also fell slightly with 3,192 patients reported on Tuesday compared to the last state report of 3,223 on Friday. The state did not release any coronavirus data over the three-day holiday weekend.
The declines match indications from wastewater samples over the past two weeks that show significantly lower virus levels. Baker noted during his Tuesday news conference on school rapid test distribution that wastewater has been a reliable predictor of virus trends in the community since the state first started to monitor it in the summer of 2020.
"It's down somewhere between 65 and 75 percent of where it was at the peak a couple of weeks ago," Baker said on Tuesday, "which is exactly the same trajectory that people saw with omicron in the UK, and South Africa, and other parts of the U.S.
"It's straight up and straight down."
There were 56,489 new cases of the virus reported since Friday — including additional cases the state said were not recorded on Thursday — with 47 additional deaths.
Hospitalizations remain taxing on an understaffed system with 466 patients in intensive care and 290 patients intubated.
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