The state's rolling seven-day average rate of positive COVID-19 tests has crept back to 1 percent, while the number of COVID-19 patients in the ICU is at its highest since the Fourth of July.
Tuesday's up-and-down update from the Department of Public Health came just a couple hours after Gov. Charlie Baker announced lower-risk communities could move to the second step of Phase 3 of the state's reopening plan on Monday, Oct. 5. The coronavirus report continued the upward trend of some key coronavirus metrics.
The seven-day weighted average is at 1 percent for the first time since Aug. 31. It follows several days of positive test rates around or above 3 percent, including Tuesday's 3.1 percent.
The number of COVID-19 patients in the ICU of hospitals around the state is at 107 — the most since July 4 — after an increase of 22 from the previous day. The number of hospitalizations is also still increasing, now at 444, though there was some confusion Tuesday after Baker said "many" of those reported as hospitalized "are actually not hospitalized to be treated for COVID." He did not elaborate.
Overall there were 450 newly confirmed coronavirus cases in Tuesday's report, the sixth day out of the last seven there were at least 450 confirmed coronavirus cases. Baker earlier in the afternoon partially attributed the increase in cases to more testing.
The report said eight more deaths were related to COVID-19, a decrease from 11 the previous day.