Life on the coronavirus plateau
Cases, deaths keep rising; spread continues among municipalities
MASSACHUSETTS OFFICIALS are starting to plan for a “new normal,” but the coronavirus is acting as if it’s not going away.
Statistics released on Wednesday indicate the surge is now in its third week, with cases and deaths continuing to mount and more and more municipalities seeing an increased number of infections.
Despite the state’s social distancing efforts, the number of new cases increased by 1,963 on Wednesday and the number of deaths jumped by 252, the highest one-day spike so far. COVID-19 cases appear to be spread throughout the state, but the deaths are concentrated heavily in long-term care facilities. Nursing homes accounted for more than two-thirds of the new deaths reported on Wednesday and now represent 58 percent of the 3,405 COVID-19 deaths in the state.
The key metrics monitored by the Baker administration indicated the surge is refusing to crest and break. COVID-19 hospitalizations fell slightly by 19 patients to 3,856, but remained at the plateau level of 3,600 to 3,900 patients for the fifteenth day. COVID-19 cases in hospital intensive care units increased slightly and remained above 1,000. One bright spot: the percent of COVID-19 cases currently hospitalized fell from 7 percent to 6 percent on Wednesday.
Brockton was No. 2 on a per capita basis, at 2,783 cases per 100,000 residents, followed by Everett (2,068), Lynn (2,037), Randolph (1,879), Lawrence (1,858), Revere (1843), Danvers (1,635), Holyoke (1,446), Topsfield (1,488), Stoughton (1,449), Braintree (1448), Lowell (1,411), and Norwood (1,295).The statewide average for cases per 100,000 residents was 865 this week, up from 616 last week.
Topsfield’s numbers are inflated by an outbreak at a nursing home in the town. Some of the other communities may have been similarly impacted, but it’s often hard to tell because the state doesn’t release detailed case and death information for individual nursing homes.