Massachusetts Reports 54 New COVID Deaths, Bringing Total To 20K

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MASSACHUSETTS —Massachusetts hit another grim milestone in the coronavirus pandemic Wednesday, recording the 20,000th reported coronavirus death since the state's first COVID-19 death on March 20, 2020.

There were 54 new, reported COVID-19 deaths in Wednesday's report from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, bringing the state's total to 20,008. Health officials, however, believe the actual death toll is significantly higher, as not every person who died of COVID-19 was diagnosed or received treatment and had coronavirus listed as a cause of death on their death certificate.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been tracking excess mortality, or the number of deaths above normal, since the start of the pandemic. The CDC estimates there have been 11,836 excess deaths in Massachusetts since Feb. 1, 2020, which was the same day Massachusetts reported its first coronavirus case.

There were also 27,612 new confirmed cases, bringing the state's total to 1,135,380 since the first case was reported in Massachusetts on Feb. 1, 2020. The seven-day average for positivity rates of coronavirus tests administered in Massachusetts was 22.06%, up from 21.62% in yesterday's report.

Hospitals continued to operate at or near capacity Tuesday, according to Wednesday's report, with 2,426 coronavirus patients, including 427 in intensive care and 265 on ventilators. Just 7.1 % of the state's 8,775 hospital beds were available Tuesday, down from 8.7% a day earlier.

"We are overwhelmed. Your Emergency Departments are at a breaking point," the Massachusetts College of Emergency Physicians and the Massachusetts Emergency Nurses Association said in a joint statement Monday.

This article originally appeared on the Across Massachusetts Patch

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