- Associated Press - Monday, October 26, 2020

BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts health officials on Monday reported more than 1,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases for the third consecutive day.

The 1,216 new cases were out of about 20,000 tests, a positivity rate of about 6%, according to data released by the Department of Public Health.

The 7-day rolling average of daily new cases in Massachusetts has now surged over the past two weeks from more than 565 on Oct. 11 to more than 986 on Sunday, according to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

The 7-day rolling average of the positivity rate in Massachusetts has risen over the past two weeks from 0.96% on Oct. 11 to almost 1.4% on Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins.

The total number of confirmed cases in the state is now more than 148,000.



The state also reported 17 more deaths from the virus, pushing the death toll to more than 9,650.

The number of people in the state’s hospitals with COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, climbed to 550, with 105 of those patients in intensive care.

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HIGH SCHOOL PARTY

A Massachusetts high school has moved to remote-only learning after dozens of students attended a party at which measures meant to prevent the spread of the coronavirus were ignored.

About 25 to 30 students were at the party in Wilmington on Friday night, New England Cable News reported.

Most of the students ran away when police arrived and were not identified, making contact tracing impossible.

“It is quite disconcerting to learn about this event, but equally alarming is the fact that efforts made by the Wilmington Board of Health to identify the other students at the party have been significantly limited due to lack of cooperation,” Superintendent Glenn Brand and Wilmington High School Principal Linda Peters said in a statement.

Most Wilmington High students will learn remotely until Nov. 6, they said.

Two adults, a 47-year-old man and 45-year-old woman, face charges in connection to the party for allegedly providing the alcohol.

Marblehead High also moved to remote learning after about 50 students attended a party Friday.

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CHURCH CLUSTER

More than two dozen cases of COVID-19 have been linked to a Fitchburg church, the city’s health director says.

There were 28 confirmed cases connected to the Crossroads Community Church as of noon Monday that were the result of services on Oct. 18 and other dates, Stephen Curry, the director of public health for the city, said in an email to The Boston Globe.

“We are contact tracing all of the cases, encouraging anyone associated with the church to be tested and working with all the businesses and entities that have been affected by the outbreak,” Curry said.

The newspaper left a message seeking comment with the church.

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