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Mass. coronavirus cases continue disturbing climb, rising by 1,216

By Martin Finucane Globe Staff,Updated October 26, 2020, 4:21 p.m.

Drive-through COVID-19 testing in Brockton.Drive-through COVID-19 testing in Brockton.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Massachusetts coronavirus cases continued their disturbing climb on Monday, rising by 1,216.

Case counts have jumped sharply in recent days, prompting some experts to suggest the state consider rolling back parts of its reopening plan.

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases rose to 148,336.

The death toll from confirmed coronavirus cases in Massachusetts rose by 17 to 9,657, the Department of Public Health reported Monday.

Dr. Nahid Bhadelia, medical director of the Special Pathogens Unit at Boston Medical Center, told the Globe last week that the rise in cases was likely caused by a combination of factors, including the state’s gradual reopening, the return of students to some college campuses, cooler weather driving people inside, and pandemic fatigue from months of sacrifices.

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Massachusetts had gotten the virus under control this summer, but various measures of the pandemic have indicated it was gradually returning. The pace of increase in cases accelerated last week.

State officials also reported that 20,086 more people had been tested for coronavirus, bringing the total to more than 2.65 million. The number of administered tests climbed to more than 5.72 million. The state also reported that new antibody tests had been completed for 144 people, bringing that total to 125,973.

The seven-day average of positive tests per total tests administered, was at 1.6 percent. The lowest observed figure for that metric — a number watched closely by state officials — is 0.8 percent.

The state also offers on its dashboard a different measure of test positivity: daily positive tests per people tested. That number reached 6.3 percent. Some experts have suggested that positive tests per people tested is a better measure of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the three-day average of hospitalized coronavirus patients dipped slightly from 553 to 546. The lowest that metric has been is 302.

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The number of hospitals using surge capacity was one, and the three-day average of deaths from confirmed cases was 15; the lowest that number has been is nine.

Martin finucane can be reached at [email protected].

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