VAX Bus at Willett

One of several COVID-19 vaccination buses traveling around the state made a stop at the Willett Elementary School in Attleboro on Wednesday. Above, health care worker Coral Peter and EMT Shaun Alger prep syringes.

ATTLEBORO— The number of coronavirus cases statewide has more than doubled in the last two weeks, the state Department of Public Health reported Thursday.

And that number will go up because there’s still one day to go this week.

The current number of cases this week is 957, which is up 150 percent from the 383 cases recorded in the week ending July 2.

The case count for the week ending July 9 was 598, an increase so far of 359, or 60 percent.

Prior to the last two weeks, case numbers had fallen for 13 consecutive weeks, from 14,094 for the week ending April 3 to 383 for the week ending July 2.

The numbers have been under 1,000 for six consecutive weeks, but will likely go back over that number this week.

The 383 cases recorded for the week ending July 2 is the lowest number since 527 were recorded in the week ending March 21, 2020.

Many of the new cases, 35 percent, are among those between the ages of 20 and 39.

The single biggest percentage of new cases, 19.5 percent, are among those between the ages of 20 and 29, one of the groups that has shown resistance to becoming vaccinated.

DPH declined to offer an explanation for the increase in cases when asked by The Sun Chronicle.

A spokeswoman only said that people should get vaccinated.

“The vaccines have shown to be effective against all COVID-19 variants, including Delta, and the best way to protect yourself, your loved ones and your community from COVID-19 and the variants is to get vaccinated,” she said in an email.

However Dr. Brian Patel, chief of Emergency Services at Sturdy Memorial Hospital, said in an email that “it is believed that the Delta variant is contributing to the increase in cases (statewide) over the past several weeks.”

The number of cases in the 10-community Sun Chronicle area increased to 14 for the week ending July 16 from just six for the week ending July 9.

That’s an increase of 133 percent.

However, the number of cases has fluctuated over the last seven weeks during which it has always been under 20.

The area’s positive test rate is a mere .25 percent and that is down from last week’s .35 percent.

The number of confirmed coronavirus deaths statewide this week is six, a 50 percent reduction from last week’s 12.

In the week ending July 9, the last time a death poll was taken for the area, no new deaths were reported, keeping the number at 294.

Meanwhile, Sturdy reported a low number of patients and a low positive test rate on Thursday.

“At Sturdy we are not currently seeing a significant increase in positive COVID tests,” Patel said. “Between July 7 and July 14, the hospital’s test positivity rate was only 0.3 percent. Our hospitalizations also continue to be very low averaging 0-3 patients admitted to the hospital daily.”

Those seeking a vaccination can go to vaxfinder.mass.gov for a list of locations.

George W. Rhodes can be reached at 508-236-0432.

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