Middlesex County's COVID-19 cases up 41.3%; Massachusetts cases surge 37.8%

·4 min read

New coronavirus cases were up sharply in Massachusetts last week, as the 26,139 cases reported through Sunday were 37.8% higher than the 18,972 new cases reported the previous week.

Massachusetts ranked 18th among the states where coronavirus was spreading the fastest on a per-person basis, a USA TODAY Network analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows.

Last week, COVID-19 cases in the United States increased 67.6% from the week before, with 843,458 cases reported. With 2.07% of the country's population, Massachusetts had 3.1% of the country's cases in the last week. Throughout the country, 48 states had more cases last week than they did the week before.

Valme Duverneau, left, receives a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from Framingham High School nurse Ann Beaudet during a vaccine clinic at the Fuller Middle School in Framingham, March 18, 2021.
Valme Duverneau, left, receives a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from Framingham High School nurse Ann Beaudet during a vaccine clinic at the Fuller Middle School in Framingham, March 18, 2021.

Thanksgiving significantly disrupted who got tested, how many people got tested, what labs operated and what government agencies reported on time. Some governments reported three days of data for Thanksgiving week; some reported none. The reporting of many cases and deaths were shifted from Thanksgiving's week into last week, making Thanksgiving week artificially low and last week artificially high, skewing the week-to-week comparison. Thus, these numbers are unreliable even as they're accurate to what states reported.

Middlesex County reported 4,636 cases and 25 deaths last week. A week earlier, it had reported 3,281 cases and 14 deaths. Throughout the pandemic, it has reported 174,735 cases and 3,998 deaths.

Worcester County reported 3,157 cases and 12 deaths last week. A week earlier, it had reported 2,648 cases and 10 deaths. Throughout the pandemic it has reported 106,875 cases and 2,478 deaths.

Norfolk County reported 1,661 cases and nine deaths last week. A week earlier, it had reported 1,195 cases and four deaths. Throughout the pandemic it has reported 70,012 cases and 1,892 deaths.

Within Massachusetts, the worst weekly outbreaks on a per-person basis were in Bristol County, with 459 cases per 100,000 per week; Essex County, with 439; and Hampden County, with 425. The Centers for Disease Control says high levels of community transmission begin at 100 cases per 100,000 per week.

Adding the most new cases overall were Middlesex County, with 4,636; Essex County, with 3,463; and Worcester County, with 3,157. Weekly case counts rose in 12 counties from the previous week. The worst increases from the prior week's pace were in Middlesex, Essex and Bristol counties.

>> See how your community has fared with recent coronavirus cases

Massachusetts is tops in the nation in its share of people receiving at least one shot, with 83.6% of its residents at least partially vaccinated. The national rate is 68.8%, a USA TODAY analysis of CDC data shows. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which are the most used in the United States, require two doses administered a few weeks apart.

In the week ending Thursday, Massachusetts reported administering another 363,943 vaccine doses, including 139,263 first doses. In the previous week, the state administered 205,280 vaccine doses, including 61,566 first doses. In all, Massachusetts reported it has administered 11,152,391 total doses.

In Massachusetts, 138 people were reported dead of COVID-19 in the week ending Sunday. In the week before that, 83 people were reported dead.

A total of 935,844 people in Massachusetts have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began, and 19,489 people have died from the disease, Johns Hopkins University data shows. In the United States 49,085,361 people have tested positive and 788,363 people have died.

>> Track coronavirus cases across the United States

Massachusetts' COVID-19 hospital admissions rising

USA TODAY analyzed federal hospital data as of Sunday.

Likely COVID-19 patients admitted in the state:

  • Last week: 1,394

  • The week before that: 1,131

  • Four weeks ago: 840

Likely COVID-19 patients admitted in the nation:

  • Last week: 88,233

  • The week before that: 76,364

  • Four weeks ago: 68,138

Hospitals in 33 states reported more COVID-19 patients than a week earlier, while hospitals in 28 states had more COVID-19 patients in intensive-care beds. Hospitals in 45 states admitted more COVID-19 patients in the latest week than a week prior, the USA TODAY analysis of U.S. Health and Human Services data shows.

This article originally appeared on MetroWest Daily News: Middlesex County COVID cases increased by 4,636 this week

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