Rate of growth in COVID-19 cases slows
Death toll rises in Franklin, Berkshire, Hampden counties
THE LATEST STATE FIGURES show a modest slowing of the growth in new COVID-19 cases, but troubling increases in deaths in Franklin, Berkshire, and Hampden counties.
The number of positive tests for COVID-19 statewide increased 13 percent on Saturday to 11,736. That percentage growth is slightly below the 15 to 17 percent range of the last several days. The amount of COVID-19 testing also continues to grow fairly rapidly, rising by 5,838 tests on Saturday.
What was troubling about the Saturday data was the rising death toll in the three counties. Hampden County, where the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home is located, has seen its deaths mount over recent days. It now has a total of 35, four behind Middlesex County, which has nearly four times the population of Hampden. In terms of deaths per 1,000 people, Hampden has three times the number as Middlesex.Berkshire and Franklin counties, both relatively small in population, saw their death counts continue to rise with no apparent explanation for why. Berkshire reported three more deaths on Saturday and Franklin one. Franklin now has a total of 12 COVID-19 deaths and Berkshire 10.
In Franklin, 95 people have tested positive for COVID-19. The Baker administration is currently forecasting roughly 1.5 percent of the people who test positive for COVID-19 will end up dying. In Franklin, the percentage is currently 13 percent.