QUINCY – After a downward turn, the number of COVID-19 cases on the South Shore rebounded this week while the statewide count was up for the fourth straight week and the number of confirmed cases topped 1.8 million, showed the latest reports issued by the state Department of Public Health on Thursday.
And while the number of people in the hospital with the virus increased in the past week, the number of patients being treated primarily for COVID-19 related illnesses and the most serious cases has declined, the agency said.
Case counts increased in 16 of the 23 South Shore communities surveyed, the state reported in its weekly breakdown of cases by municipality.
The statewide rise in cases comes amid growing dominance of the latest COVID-19 variant, BA.5, which is the most infectious yet and its believed to account for about three-quarters of the nation’s cases. The new variant is infects people who are vaccinated and fully boosted as well as those who gained immunity from prior infections.
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The Centers for Disease Control reports 90.75 million COVID-19 cases in the United States over the more than two years of the pandemic.
On the South Shore, there were 1,478 cases during the two weeks ending July 23. That is an increase of 7.7% from the two week period ending July16, when there were 1,372 cases.
The statewide increase was 3.2%, with 20,016 cases for the two weeks ending July 23 compared to 19,394 for the two weeks ending July 16. The statewide rate rose from 19.7 cases per day per 100,000 people averaged over two weeks to 20.3 in the latest report. It is the fourth straight week the statewide numbers have gone up.
Only lab-confirmed cases are included in the state health department report, not ones found with home test kits.
Nine local communities had rates higher than the statewide average of 20.3 cases per day per 100,000 people. They are Randolph, with a rate of 27.4, Carver with a rate of 25.1, Holbrook with a rate of 24.4, Hull with a rate of 23.4, Pembroke with a rate of 23, Braintree with a rate of 22.1, Kingston with a rate of 21.4, Plymouth with a rate of 20.9 and Norwell with a rate of 20.8.
The town with the lowest rate was Halifax with 7.4.
In Thursday’s weekly report, the state health department said there were 9,954 COVID-19 cases over the seven days ending Wednesday, bringing the state’s total for the pandemic to 1,803,391.
There were 616 people in the state’s hospitals with COVID-19, an increase of 27 patients from a week earlier. Of these, 171 are being treated primarily for COVID-19 related illnesses, 18 fewer than a week earlier. There were 48 patients in intensive care units with COVID-19, down four from a week ago, and 19 on breathing equipment, down one from a week before.
The state reported 38 new COVID-19 deaths over the past week, bringing the total for the pandemic to 19,898.
The following is a list of the number of cases by community for the two weeks ending July 23, the average daily rate of cases per 100,000 people over the two-week period and the total number of cases since the pandemic began. The statistics do not include the results of home tests.
Abington: 36 cases; 15.1 rate; 4,283 total
Braintree: 121 cases; 22.1 rate; 9,922 total
Carver: 41 cases; 25.1 rate; 2,445 total
Cohasset: 12 cases; 10.2 rate; 1,343 total
Duxbury: 33 cases; 14.6 rate; 2,878 total
Halifax: 8 cases; 7.4 rate; 1,603 total
Hanover: 38 cases; 18.3 rate; 4,590 total
Hanson: 19 cases; 12.8 rate; 2,469 total
Hingham: 41 cases; 12.1 rate; 4,936 total
Holbrook: 39 cases; 24.4 rate; 2,917 total.
Hull: 33 cases; 23.4 rate; 1,597 total.
Kingston: 41 cases; 21.4 rate; 3,180 total.
Marshfield: 49 cases; 13.6 rate; 4,936 total
Milton: 74 cases; 18.5 rate; 6,563 total
Norwell: 33 cases; 20.8 rate; 2,375 total
Pembroke: 59 cases; 23 rate; 4,058 total
Plymouth: 179 cases; 20.9 rate; 14,550 total
Quincy: 248 cases; 17.4 rate; 21,313 total
Randolph: 134 cases; 27.4 rate; 10,711 total
Rockland: 32 cases; 12.8 rate; 4,669 total
Scituate: 38 cases; 14.2 rate; 3,332 total
Weymouth: 140 cases; 17.4 rate; 13,259 total
‘Whitman: 30 cases; 14.2 rate; 3,638 total