VAX Bus at Willett

Ryan Boyce, 18, of North Attleboro gets his first Pfizer shot aboard the Vax Bus at the Willett School in Attleboro last month. The bus returns to Willett School from noon to 6 p.m. Friday. No appointment is needed.

ATTLEBORO — Coronavirus cases have tripled in the area, jumping from 14 to 44 from July 15-22.

Deaths more than doubled from nine to 24 over the same period.

The numbers reflect an upward, worrisome trend statewide.

While the numbers have gone up in the 10-community area The Sun Chronicle covers, they are still way below the ones recorded when the pandemic was raging.

But the increase is significant because after declining for 13 consecutive weeks, there has been a reversal of course for three consecutive weeks.

The decline saw cases go from 14,094 in the week ending April 4 to 383 for the week ending July 1.

During that time, deaths fell from 192 to nine.

Since July 1, cases have gone to 598 on July 8, 1,226 on July 15 and to 2,603 on July 22, which is more than four times the July 8 number.

Fortunately, deaths have not increased as rapidly.

They’ve gone from 12 on July 8 to nine on July 15 to 24 on July 22.

The last time the number of cases was in the vicinity of 2,603 was in the week ending Sept. 26, 2020 when there were 2,691 cases.

In that week there were 93 deaths.

Published reports say most of the new cases are caused by the delta variant of the virus.

It’s thought that fewer deaths have been recorded because younger people, who are more resistant to the disease, were infected.

In this area, deaths have not increased in seven weeks, holding steady at 294.

This week two communities did not report by press time, so the number could be higher.

Along with the 294 deaths there have been 16,489 cases.

Those numbers equal a 1.78 death percentage.

As of Friday statewide, there were 668,404 confirmed cases and 17,678 confirmed deaths.

That’s a 2.64 death percentage.

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

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