Data Update

Massachusetts Data Update October 31,2020

Happy Halloween. Our ghoulish story continues – no surprise there. Test positivity rates are up across the board – particularly among the newly tested. Overall test positivity has increased as well.  Roughly three-quarters of all tests are for repeat testers.

Table 1: Massachusetts Testing Statistics
7 Day  Trailing Average
October 31, 2020
Testing Statistic   Current 7 Days Ago 4 Weeks Ago
Test Positivity Rate (Individuals)   6.5% 5.8% 3.6%
Test Positivity Rate (Include Suspected)   7.1% 6.1% 3.8%
Test Positivity Rate (All Tests)   1.9% 1.7% 1.1%
Test Positivity Rate (Newly Tested)   6.5% 5.8% 3.6%
Test Positivity Rate (Repeat Testers)   0.4% 0.4% 0.2%
Percentage Repeat Testers   76.0% 74.9% 73.1%
Newly Tested (Lagged 1 Week)   16,494 15,234 14,649
All Tests (Lagged 1 Week)   65,827 62,587 57,189


Not surprisingly, hospitalizations are increasing as well,, but not as rapidly as the increase in cases, as the average age of new cases is lower than in the spring. We’re basically at the same point we were in early-to-mid July, but hospitalizations were decreasing then, and they are now increasing.

Table 2: Massachusetts Hospitalization Statistics
7 Day Trailing Average
October 31, 2020
Hospitalization Statistic   Current 7 Days Ago 4 Weeks Ago
Covid Patients Hospitalized   570 523 426
Covid Patients in ICU   107 99 85
Covid Patients Intubed   48 37 30
New Confirmed Patients   52 46 33
Percent ICU / Hospitalized   19% 19% 20%
Percent Intubated / ICU   44% 38% 35%


Cases continue to rise, with reported confirmed and suspected cases above 1,000 for ten consecutive days.  Deaths are also slowly increasing, but the trend now is for a lower percentage from long-term care facilities.

Table 3: Massachusetts Reported Case and Death Statistics
7 Day Trailing Average
October 31, 2020
Statistic   Current 7 Days Ago 4 Weeks Ago
Total Deaths Including Suspected   22 17 17
Total  Deaths Confirmed Only   21 16 16
Deaths in Long-Term Facilities (All Cases)   12 8 10
Percent from Long-Term Care   56% 51% 62%
Total Cases Including Suspected   1302 939 608
Total Confirmed Cases   1214 874 569


6 replies on “Massachusetts Data Update October 31,2020”

Your analyses are easy-to-read, and more revealing than what the MA DPH is providing. Continued appreciation from this reader.

Thank you, Snoyd. We are grateful for these honest posts. One strange thing: I posted yesterday in the Boston Globe comments section that yesterday’s hospitalizations increased to 623, and that the Globe article neglected to mention that in their daily reporting of cases. I was then blocked! I’m so shocked. I now cannot post anything in the comment section. It concerns me so much, because I just posted a fact (nothing offensive in the least). Isn’t that odd? It kind of freaks me out that they would censor something like that. I’m glad I can come here for honest reporting and analysis!

Yes. I saw that your post was taken down, and couldn’t explain it either. I assume someone flagged it, but then I thought someone at the Globe made the decision whether to remove the comment. Perhaps not. I agree with you that this is disturbing, because it potentially means the trolls can take over the board.

Thank you for your support. There are so many offensive posts I flag that are never taken down, that it seems that the Globe itself decided to take it down. I did ask the Globe why it was removed, and if it perhaps was an error. They are supposed to get back to me. Will let you know. It worries me that the Globe removed an honest comment. At least we can find honest info here on this blog!

The state needs to explain the hospitalizations data, once and for all. If we’re seeing more hospitalizations then that means we need to stop rising infections, And, if we’re seeing more hospitalizations every day, then yes, we will expect to see more deaths, right, and we need to stop rising infections.

But, if infections are going up without higher hospitalizations and/or higher deaths, then that’s a whole ‘nother thing, right? We would deal with it differently.

The only clear data I see from the state is total number of hospitalizations, which is reported daily. If you track that and figure out the change every day, then you don’t see much of an increase in hospitalizations – five or six people more per day. That’s a lot, if we go from 15 patients to 20 patients or more per day, but in the scheme of things, is it really a big deal?

On 7/5, there were 25 new hospitalizations reported. On 10/31, there were 25 new hospitalizations reported. We’re trending up, whereas we trended down in July, but there doesn’t seem to be any conclusions to draw.

Well, one thing is that the state new hospitalization numbers don’t align with the new hospitalizations reported by the hospitals. I use the numbers reported by the hospitals, and it appears you use the ones reported by the state. I’m seeing a net increase of 5-10 patients per day over the last month or so. I agree that this is much better than the spring – I attribute it to the changing demographics of the case profile – younger patients, for one, and we are also probably diagnosing less ill patients because of the increase in testing.

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