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BOSTON, MA – May 17: The free Covid test kits issued by the US government and postal service on May 17, 2022 in , BOSTON, MA. (Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

The state Department of Public Health on Thursday reported 1,700 daily COVID cases, a similar count as the 1,662 infections last Thursday.

The state’s daily average positive test rate has been trending down in the past month. The average positive test rate is now 5.53%, mirroring the 5.54% at this time last week. The positive test rate for Thursday’s report was lower at 4.85%.

The omicron subvariant BA.2.12.1. has been spreading across the region, along with the BA.2 subvariant.

State health officials reported six new COVID deaths, bringing the state’s total recorded death toll to 20,881. The daily average of deaths was much higher following the omicron hospitalization surge. The daily death rate is now nine.

COVID-19 hospitalizations have been falling in the past few weeks. There are now 459 COVID patients across the Bay State after total hospitalizations ticked up by one patient.

There are now 33 patients in intensive care units, and 17 patients are currently intubated across the state.

More than 5.4 million people in the state are now fully vaccinated, and more than 3.1 million people have received a booster dose. Also, the state reported that 560,610 people have received an additional booster dose.

In the weekly K-12 schools report, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education reported that 1,704 students and staff tested positive last week with significantly fewer districts reporting ahead of summer vacation, down from 4,216 cases during the previous week.

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