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FILE – Syringes and a vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are displayed at a mass COVID-19 vaccination site in Batavia, Ill., on March 19, 2021. Moderna hopes to offer updated COVID-19 boosters in the fall that combine its original vaccine with protection against the omicron variant. On Tuesday, April 19, 2022, it reported a preliminary hint that such an approach might work. (Rick West/Daily Herald via AP, File)
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The number of coronavirus cases reported Friday fell back down below 5,000 after Thursday’s recent high — but upward trends in major metrics continue to rise.

The state’s daily COVID-19 report tallied 4,654 new cases, down from the 5,576 reported the previous day but still marking only the second time the mark has been above 4,000 since the back end of the omicron-variant-driven surge in January.

The state also reported nine new deaths on Friday. The total number dead from the virus is now 19,252.

Massachusetts continues to be in the middle of an uptick as cases and positive test rates have risen over the past month.

The seven-day positive test average is now 8.68%. Both that and the number of positive tests have climbed since the recent low in March. It’s not the type of rapid spike that brought the colossal omicron surge this winter, which was much larger, but it’s been a steady climb.

And wastewater monitoring, a reliable early indicator, appears to just be showing further increases in the Boston area.

State officials reported 729 people in the hospital with coronavirus, though just 223 of those are actually there because of Covid, with the rest coming for a different reason and then testing positive incidentally. Of those hospitalized with the virus, 64 are in the ICU, including 22 intubated.

The average daily death rate, thankfully, hasn’t risen much off of its low post-omicron plateau of 4% to 5% — the mark is now 7.1% and has remained largely flat for months.

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