Worcester County COVID-19 cases up 12.8%; state positives increase 5.1%

·4 min read
People wait in line at the UMass Memorial Health COVID-19 testing site at Mercantile Center in Worcester.
People wait in line at the UMass Memorial Health COVID-19 testing site at Mercantile Center in Worcester.

New coronavirus cases increased 5.1% in Massachusetts in the week ending Sunday, as the state added 146,355 cases. The previous week saw 139,314 new cases of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Massachusetts ranked sixth 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.

In the latest week coronavirus cases in the U.S. increased 5.8% from the week before, with 5,438,242 cases reported. With 2.07% of the country's population, Massachusetts had 2.69% of the country's cases in the last week.

Across the country, 39 states had more cases in the latest week than they did in the week before.

Many counties did not report during data during the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, disrupting the latest week's statistics. That data is being compared to a week with backlogged cases and deaths from the New Year's holiday weekend.

Week-to-week comparisons are skewed and these numbers will be unreliable even as they're accurate to what states reported.

Worcester County ranks among highest for new cases

Worcester County reported 16,319 cases and 47 deaths in the latest week. A week earlier, it had reported 14,466 cases and 43 deaths. Throughout the pandemic it has reported 159,556 cases and 2,668 deaths.

Within the state, the worst weekly outbreaks on a per-person basis were in Hampden County with 2,415 cases per 100,000 per week; Suffolk County with 2,360; and Bristol County with 2,092. 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 29,423 cases; Suffolk County, with 18,970 cases; and Worcester County, with 16,319.

Weekly case counts rose in nine counties from the previous week. The worst increases from the prior week's pace were in Bristol, Worcester and Middlesex counties.

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

92.4% of state residents have had at least 1 dose of vaccine

The state ranked second among states in share of people receiving at least one shot, with 92.4% of its residents at least partially vaccinated. The national rate is 74.6%, a USA TODAY analysis of CDC data shows.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which are the most used in the U.S., require two doses administered a few weeks apart.

In the week ending Wednesday, Massachusetts reported administering another 259,381 vaccine doses, including 74,163 first doses. In the previous week, the state administered 209,684 vaccine doses, including 56,907 first doses.

In all, the state reported it has administered 13,402,874 total doses.

Across the state, cases fell in three counties, with the best declines in Essex County, with 14,576 cases from 16,443 a week earlier; in Suffolk County, with 18,970 cases from 19,294; and in Barnstable County, with 2,305 cases from 2,360.

In Massachusetts, 371 people were reported dead of COVID-19 in the week ending Sunday. In the week before that, 295 people were reported dead.

A total of 1,426,283 people in the state have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began, and 20,939 people have died from the disease, Johns Hopkins University data shows.

In the U.S., 65,699,947 people have tested positive, and 850,605 people have died.

Note: For Massachusetts, Johns Hopkins University reports data in a combined health department for Dukes and Nantucket counties. Those two counties may appear without any cases, and this will skew rankings of counties.

>> Track coronavirus cases across the United States

State's COVID-19 hospital admissions rising

USA TODAY analyzed federal hospital data as of Sunday, Jan. 16.

Likely COVID patients admitted in the state:

  • Last week: 3,888

  • The week before that: 3,166

  • Four weeks ago: 1,624

Likely COVID patients admitted in the nation:

  • Last week: 203,221

  • The week before that: 185,954

  • Four weeks ago: 90,739

Hospitals in 41 states reported more COVID-19 patients than a week earlier, while hospitals in 35 states had more COVID-19 patients in intensive-care beds.

Hospitals in 43 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.

The USA TODAY Network is publishing localized versions of this story on its news sites across the country, generated with data from Johns Hopkins University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you have questions about the data or the story, contact Mike Stucka at mstucka@gannett.com

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY NETWORK: Worcester County COVID-19 cases up 12.8%; state positives increase 5.1%

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