Vax numbers rosy, other COVID-19 categories not so good

State at or near top in variants, deaths

BOSTON — Around the holidays, few communities were as red as Revere. In mid-December, the incidence rate for COVID-19 was more than double the state average, according to the state Department of Public Health. And more than 11% of tests were coming back positive.

Things may be better in Revere four months later, but the city is hardly out of the woods. Its status remains yellow, but last week’s public health report indicates COVID-19 cases are rising. But also rising: the number of residents getting vaccinated.

“As of last Thursday, more than 10,000 residents of the City of Revere have been fully vaccinated,” said Mayor Brian Arrigo at a press conference Wednesday held at a vaccination clinic near Wonderland.

Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito attended, as well.

Mayor Arrigo said another 7,000 Revere residents have received a first vaccine dose. The city plans to boost those numbers even more with initiatives that include a multilingual public information campaign, as well as delivering information door-to-door. Already, Revere held a mobile clinic for essential workers at a local shopping plaza.

“We actually started homebound vaccinations several weeks ago,” Arrigo said.

Overall, Massachusetts is a national leader when it comes to vaccination against COVID-19, Baker said.

“We’ve now delivered and administered over four million total doses to people across the commonwealth and more than one-and-a-half million people are now fully vaccinated,” the governor said.

>>>MORE: State getting big boost in vaccine doses this week

And those numbers could be even higher if more vaccine was available.

“We have the capacity right now to probably double or triple the number of doses we do,” Baker said.

The demand, at least in the short term, is certainly there. The state’s pre-registration system has logged 1.5 million requests, with 800,000 so far contacted to book appointments. But while the vaccination numbers are a bright spot for Massachusetts, other numbers are anything but:

  • RealClearPolitics says Massachusetts has the highest Confirmed COVID-19 Case Fatality Rate in the nation at 2.68%. New Jersey ranks second at 2.65%, New York third at 2.60%.
  • Massachusetts reported to the CDC the second-highest total of the P-1 COVID-19 variant in the U.S., with 82 samples testing positive for the more transmissible type. Florida had the highest total, with 84 positive samples.
  • Massachusetts had 977 COVID-19 samples test positive for the B.1.1.7 variant, one of the higher totals among the 50 states. That variant is not only more contagious but is also believed transmissible among children.
  • The state’s 7-day average positive-test rate remains well above 2%.

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