Health officials announced another 18 coronavirus deaths on Wednesday, bringing the number of deaths nationwide to 8,557.
Officials confirmed another 229 cases of COVID-19, for a total of at least 113,198. This is based on 15,693 new molecular tests reported on Wednesday. 2518 new antigen tests have also been reported.
Currently, 422 people are hospitalized with the virus, including 64 patients in intensive care.
Health officials said on Wednesday that they had “optimized”
“These changes include adding daily indicators for the number of positive and negative antigen and serology tests reported to DPH, moving probable cases to the dashboard for the week, and including new statistics for contact tracking programs in the dashboard for the week,” they wrote.
As of Wednesday, there were at least 5,119,711 cases of COVID-19 in the United States and approximately 163,651 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Although the percentage of positive tests in Massachusetts has increased in the last few weeks, recent data show that it is starting to slow down. However, the municipality is one of four states – Massachusetts, Hawaii, South Dakota and Illinois – an increase in cases over the past 14 days, according to the New York Times.
The latest figures come a day after the Charlie Baker government released “improved” data at the city level to show a specific number of cases in each municipality in the state. The new size limits for outdoor collection also went into effect on Tuesday. Any outdoor gatherings will be limited to 50 people instead of 100. The limit for indoor gatherings will remain at 25 people.
Officials have released a color map of the country indicating where the tallest are. Red represents places where there are more than eight cases per 100,000 people, which means that residents are at high risk; yellow represents between four and eight cases or a moderate level of risk; green represents less than four cases per 100,000 inhabitants; and white represents less than five cases reported in the last 14 days.
Baker said his administration has approached municipal leaders in more severely affected communities to devise strategies to reduce infections. Baker said 318 communities in Massachusetts were either below national levels for the virus, but added that there was still work to be done.
“No matter where your community is, COVID doesn’t go,” Baker said.
Thirty-three communities are at moderate or high risk of increasing prevalence, officials said. Chelsea, Lynn, Revere and Everett are at the highest risk, said Health and Human Services Secretary Merilu Suders.
Primary and secondary education commissioner Jeffrey K. Riley said the color-coded indicator to track possible spikes in COVID cases should inform plans to reopen school districts.
“We expect district training models to follow this color metric, unless mitigating circumstances are identified after consultation with local health councils,” Riley said. “This includes a review of additional indicators, such as whether the cases increase or decrease, the degree of positivity of the local test and other contextual factors.”
Areas tasked with creating three plans for distance, hybrid and personal learning models face a deadline of Friday to address the final plans to the state.
Coronavirus in Massa: See cases, maps, charts, and resources
Here are the cases listed in the county:
Barnstable County: 1570
Bristol County: 8,759
Counties of Dukes and Nantucket: 82
Essex County: 17,074
Franklin County: 372
Hampden County: 7,367
Middlesex County: 24,207
Norfolk County: 9179
Plymouth County: 8,760
Suffolk County: 20,899
Worcester County: 12,927
Unknown location: 306