BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — COVID numbers in Massachusetts have reached highs not seen since this past winter's spike in cases. The state reported 4,838 new confirmed cases on Wednesday night.
The last time the state saw comparable numbers from a single day was nearly a year ago, on January 22, when 4,935 cases were reported. The positivity rate had jumped to 5.14%, up from just 1.73% from a month ago (November 2). Hospitalizations had also drastically risen from a recent low of 502 people in the hospital on November 4.
Scientific consensus around the now-dominant Delta strain of the variant is that it is more contagious than the strain that caused the spike nearly a year ago.
There were some silver linings in the reports. Though the case count had reached similar highs to the numbers from January, the corresponding hospitalizations were cut in more than half (957 people in the hospital on December 1, versus 2055 in the hospital on January 22). There were 25 deaths reported on Wednesday night, while 80 were reported on that day in January. The 7-day average percent positivity rate was almost exactly the same from Wednesday's numbers and those in January (5.07%).
The recent spike in cases came as health officials across the globe hunted for answers on the new Omicron variant of COVID, which the WHO says may be able to reinfect people more easily.