The latest Massachusetts Covid-19 statistics, released this afternoon, show 500 people in the hospital with the virus as of yesterday, compared to 340 on Sept. 8.
That's still dramatically lower than the peak of 3,965 recorded on April 21, but when coupled with other data, it continues to show a slow but steady increase in the state's Covid-19 numbers.
The state reported 734 new cases of Covid-19 today, compared to 363 a month earlier.
Although daily numbers can fluctuate dramatically based on how many tests are given on a given day, state figures for the percentage of people testing positive is also increasing.
Over the week ending yesterday, the state reported a total positivity rate of 1.1% compared to 0.8% a month ago - a 45% increase. That includes people who have taken multiple tests.
But charts further down in the state report show grimmer numbers in recent days. On Oct. 8, the number of people who tested positive (the 1.1% figure above includes all tests; some people are tested more than once), was 4.6% of the people who took tests tested positive, compared to 2.4% on Sept. 8 - a 92% increase. Yesterday's number was also up from 3.2% on Wednesday and Tuesday.
In Boston, officials have been noting an uptick in cases over the past few weeks - enough so that for the second week in a row, the city is now colored red on the state's warning map, because the city is now showing 8.1 new cases per day per 100,000 residents - above the state "red" threshold of 8 - and a citywide test positivity rate of 4.1%. On Wednesday, Mayor Walsh announced a one-week delay in the expanded re-opening of Boston public schools because of the numbers.
Nicholas Bauer, a cellular and computational biologist at Mass. General and Harvard Medical School who has been following the statistics, reports that 4.1% is also the percentage of Boston hospital visits tied to Covid-19, the same number the city saw in early March - when the pandemic was starting to surge here.
One statistic that has not changed much is daily deaths from Covid-19. The state reported 12 today - which is in line with the daily death tallies over the past month.