Long weekend brought 1,922 positives, 39 deaths

More than 1,900 new people were confirmed to have COVID-19 over the three-day weekend as single-day positivity rates remained above 3 percent, continuing a trend that began in late September. The Department of Public Health reported 587 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, 570 additional cases on Sunday and 765 fresh cases on Monday, though the agency said Monday's total included "data from a national laboratory that had a delay in reporting."

Along with the 1,922 new cases, DPH reported 39 recent COVID-19 deaths since Friday, bringing the death toll to 9,617 people. Since Feb. 1, 136,933 people in Massachusetts have become infected with the virus.

Though DPH said Monday the seven-day average of the positive test rate of all test s conducted remained at 1.1 percent, the agency also reported that 4.2 percent of people tested for the first time Friday were found to be positive for COVID-19, 3.4 percent of people first tested Saturday had the virus, and 3.2 percent of people first tested Sunday were confirmed to have COVID-19. The single-day positivity percentage has been above 3 percent since late September, according to DPH.

As of midday Monday, there were 501 people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Massachusetts. That's down by 30 patients from midday Saturday, but DPH said the three-day average number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients is up 70 percent from the low of about 300 patients in late August.

As of midday Monday, 82 people were being treated in an intensive care unit including 32 COVID-19 patients on ventilators. Dr. David Rosman, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, took to Twitter each evening this weekend to call attention to trend lines that he said "are still pointing up" and to encourage people to remain vigilant about social distancing and mask-wearing.

"Evening #MA. 765 new #COVID19 cases on 18.8k new tests. That's not good. Unusually high for a Monday. 3.2% positive. That's better than the last week which is good. Interesting that # of tests are going up. #StayHealthy #WearAMask #StayHome," he tweeted Monday.

Baker Plans Noon Presser on COVID-19
Gov. Charlie Baker and three members of his Cabinet plan to hold a State House press conference at noon on COVID-19 updates. The event comes a day after Baker announced his plan to prevent and mitigate evictions as he is allowing a moratorium to end on Saturday. It comes four days after he held a private meeting with the White House virus response coordinator.

And it comes two days before Baker faces a deadline to mark down state tax collections, which will trigger major budget decisions. Baker has also not held a press conference he promised 12 days ago about personal protective equipment preparations for this fall and winter. Baker on Oct. 1 talked about PPE purchases and the importance of in-state suppliers and said he feels "pretty good about where we're going to be this fall," but said the topic was worthy of an entire press conference. - Michael P. Norton/SHNS