As COVID-19 surges in some parts of the county, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MA DPH) reports the rate of people testing positive for COVID-19 and the number of people with COVID-19 in hospitals is trending in the right direction. MDPH’s COVID-19 Dashboard also shows a decrease in COVID-19 deaths, hospitalizations, the percentage of people testing positive, and the number of hospitals using surge capacity since April 15th.
Like the state overall, Western MA has experienced a decrease in new COVID-19 cases since April. The number of new COVID-19 cases each week has remained fairly steady since the beginning of June, with less than 200 new cases each week. The graph below shows the number of new COVID-19 cases each week in Western MA as well as milestones for the reopening of MA.
As stated in previous newsletters, caution should be exercised when interpreting COVID-19 data. For example, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is dependent upon who is tested and not necessarily reflective of the distribution of COVID-19 in the general population. Testing has been limited thus far. Because many people who have the disease are asymptomatic and have not been tested, prevalence of people testing positive is unlikely to reflect the prevalence in communities. As testing and contact tracing increase, we will have a better understanding of impacts on communities and populations, and more targeted actions can take place to mitigate spread and support those who are disproportionately impacted.