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Mass. coronavirus death toll climbs over 13,000

A coronavirus testing site in Chelsea Square in December
A coronavirus testing site in Chelsea Square in DecemberJessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

The total number of confirmed coronavirus deaths in Massachusetts climbed over 13,000 Wednesday, as the state’s alarming surge showed little sign of letting up.

The death toll from confirmed cases increased by 86 to 13,082, the Department of Public Health reported. With probable coronavirus deaths added, the tragic toll of the pandemic has now risen to 13,359 deaths.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Massachusetts rose by 5,278, while the seven-day average was 5,957. The new cases brought the state’s total to 427,752.

Since the fall, the state has seen an alarming resurgence of the deadly virus in which case counts have soared to record heights. The levels of deaths are still below those seen in the devastating spring, though scores are being reported daily.

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The agency also said 90,467 people were estimated to have active cases of the potentially deadly virus, and 2,200 confirmed coronavirus patients were in the hospital.

The public health department also reported that 100,276 more tests had been conducted for coronavirus. The total number of tests administered climbed to more than 11.9 million. New antigen tests had been completed for 5,468 people, bringing that total to 411,710.


The state also reported that the seven-day average rate of positive tests, which is calculated from the total number of tests administered, was at 7.11 percent. The lowest observed figure for that metric — a number watched closely by state officials — is 0.8 percent.

The state said the rate would be 8.3 percent if the effect of college testing programs -- in which asymptomatic people can be tested repeatedly in an effort to rapidly identify new cases -- is factored out.

In a worrisome signal, the levels of virus have risen to record-breaking levels in the waste water at the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority’s Deer Island treatment plant. State officials are looking at the numbers for signs of future case trends.

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Peter Bailey-Wells of the Globe staff contributed to this report.


Martin Finucane can be reached at martin.finucane@globe.com.