Editor's note: The following COVID-19 charts will be updated weekly on Thursdays, when Massachusetts provides its latest municipal reporting. You'll see the phrase "previous 90 days" before many of the charts below. That means we're displaying the last 90 days of data from the state's most recent weekly update.
Tracking new confirmed cases and deaths
Each Thursday, Massachusetts reports its updated COVID-19 data, including the latest reported cases and deaths. Here are the total number of confirmed cases and deaths from the last weekly update.
Here is the rolling seven-day average of daily confirmed COVID deaths over the previous 90 days. You may note that the chart shows a sharp drop-off for the last few days. That may not mean an actual decrease in the numbers, but a delay in the state's reporting. It often takes a few days for hospitals, labs and other facilities to report their COVID data.
When nearly all COVID testing was done by medical professionals in hospitals or at testing sites, tracking cases of the illness was easier. Now, many people who contract COVID use at-home tests and never seek medical care. This means the state's official case count is almost certainly an undercount.
There's better evidence in our poop. Your wastewater will contain COVID RNA if you are sick. The Massachusetts Water Resource Authority has been tracking COVID in its wastewater, and the chart below shows the virus levels over the last 90 days.
This chart does not include all sewer systems in Massachusetts, but more than 3 million people live in an MWRA community, making it a reliable barometer of COVID infection trends.
Coronavirus in our hospitals
Watching and maintaining hospital capacity is one of the keys measurements of whether the pandemic is under control: We want to make sure that any wave of infections does not exceed our ability to treat people with the most serious cases. But not all patients with COVID are being treated primarily for the virus. Sometimes, COVID is an unwanted visitor during a person's hospital stay.
Below, in green, you'll see the total number of patients with an active COVID case over the past 90 days. And in orange, you'll see the state's estimate of patients primarily fighting COVID in the hospital during that same period.
The following map and table are updated every Thursday, when the state releases new municipal data. To see the state's daily reports, click here.
You can also search for your city or town using this table.
Efforts to vaccinate people against COVID-19 ramped up in early 2021, with most people opting between a two-dose vaccination regimen and a less-used single-dose version. When released, both of these were considered to provide "full" vaccination against the virus.
Since then, researchers learned that the protection provided by the COVID vaccines, like many others, can wane over time. Because of this, several rounds of booster shots were released, including shots targeting variants of the virus, like omicron. Some experts believe COVID boosters may become a seasonal offering, like the flu vaccine.
The dashboard below shows the percent of Massachusetts residents who have received different rounds of COVID vaccination. Population percentages are based on preliminary 2020 census data for the state.
The pandemic to date in Massachusetts
While the data above reflects the most recent trends on COVID infections, the virus has wreaked havoc across the globe for nearly three years.
This article was originally published on March 09, 2020.