Virus notes: Biggest one-day jump in new cases
House bill would create equity task force
TWO OF THE KEY INDICATORS for determining whether the state is nearing the end of its COVID-19 surge sent conflicting signals on Thursday, as hospitalizations declined slightly while new cases hit an all-time high for a single day.
The number of new COVID-19 cases rose to 3,079, a 76 percent increase over Wednesday and the highest one-day jump since the pandemic began. The sharp increase coincided with the biggest one-day jump in testing for the coronavirus, with 14,614 tests completed, almost three times the amount of the day before.
The other big indicator, patient hospitalizations, declined by 87 to 3,890. It was only the second time since the pandemic began that hospitalizations decreased. The previous drop of 28 occurred on April 18.
Deaths continued to mount, with 178 new COVID-19 fatalities for a total of 2,360.
The number of people at long-term care facilities with COVID-19 increased by 714 on Thursday, representing about 23 percent of the statewide total for the day. According to the state’s COVID-19 dashboard, 43 percent of the state’s long-term care facilities now have 30 or more cases and 26 percent have less than 10.
House passes bill creating equity task force
The Massachusetts House wants to create a task force to examine disparities in health care among different populations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
A bill that was passed by the House on Thursday would create a new 13-member group that would analyze racial and ethnic health disparities and make policy recommendations. According to a bill summary, it would look at removing barriers to health care services; increasing access to personal protective equipment; increasing access to COVID-19 testing; and educating populations about available resources in multiple languages.
Its first report would be due June 1.The House also wants to require the Department of Public Health to compile daily data on COVID-19 testing, test results, hospitalizations and mortality that includes race, ethnicity and gender.
Much of this information is already being collected by the DPH, which this week started releasing gender, racial and ethnic information about COVID-19.