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Mass. passes 17,000 coronavirus deaths

A man paused to take in a collection of origami cranes hung in honor of those who have died of COVID-19 at Old South Church.
A man paused to take in a collection of origami cranes hung in honor of those who have died of COVID-19 at Old South Church.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Massachusetts passed another heart-rending milestone in the coronavirus pandemic Wednesday as the total number of confirmed deaths rose past 17,000.

The Department of Public Health reported 21 new deaths from the virus, bringing the state’s total to 17,014.

The DPH also reported 2,292 new confirmed cases, bringing the state’s total to 611,825. The seven-day average of cases edged up to 1,950 from 1,944 the day before.

Meanwhile, the state logged another 88,491 vaccinations in its high-stakes campaign to protect the population from the virus that has wracked the state for more than a year.

The DPH said 35,075 people were estimated to have active cases of the potentially deadly virus, and 755 confirmed coronavirus patients were in the hospital.


The DPH also reported that 118,123 more tests had been conducted for coronavirus. The total number of tests administered climbed to more than 19.4 million. New antigen tests had been completed for 3,935 people, bringing that total to 670,138.

The DPH reported that the seven-day average rate of positive tests, which is calculated from the total number of tests administered, was at 2.46 percent.

The department said the rate would be 4.1 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.

The number of new vaccinations Wednesday was greater than on Tuesday, when 81,281 were reported.

The new vaccinations brought the total to 4,111,327 so far, state officials reported Wednesday.

The total number of shots administered amounted to 83.8 percent of the 4,906,820 doses shipped to providers in the state so far, the Department of Public Health said.

The total shots administered included 2,540,254 first shots and 1,457,743 second shots of the Moderna and Pfizer two-shot vaccines. The total also included 113,330 shots of Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine.


The number of people fully vaccinated — with either two shots of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines or one shot of the Johnson & Johnson — rose to 1,571,073.

To take a deeper dive into the state’s coronavirus statistics click here.

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

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