Skip to main content
CommentaryCovid-19 EpidemicPreventive MedicinePrimary Care

Covid-19: New Cases and Deaths in MA Substantially Declined During May

During May, we saw a steady decline in daily new cases and deaths in Massachusetts from Covid-19. The adherence of most of our population to the governor’s guidance about masks, distancing, and staying at home did work.

We had been the fourth worst state (after New York, New Jersey and Illinois) in terms of cases and deaths, but no longer. The decline is consistent with what I had shown to be likely in the graphs I last presented a month ago that projected total active cases (derived from projected new cases) as well as daily new cases and cumulative total cases:

Mass data on new, total, and active Covid-19 cases to 4.26.20

Figure 1: Estimated cases in May and June from our last post

DPH changed what cases it counted

Since that time, the Massachusetts Dept of Public Health (DPH) changed the exact method of counting cases (now no longer just PCR confirmed but clinically confirmed as well), resulting in retroactively higher case numbers. But the shape of the decline is similar.

Here (in a WBUR graph from DPH data) the daily new cases similarly shows the peak was mid-to-late April (which would roughly correspond to the peak of active cases at the end of April) and we have been in steady decline since then, and as of early June are getting back to the low (but still significant levels) of March:

WBUR new daily Covid-19 cases through 6.6.20

Figure 2: WBUR graph of daily cases from DPH revised data

Other posts on keeping safe at home and in our office

In accompanying posts I will first review how to keep yourselves safe (without remaining hermetically sealed at home) while we consider how to return to more normal life, and second how we have reconfigured our office procedures and capabilities in order now to carefully resume office-based urgent care as well as eventually more routine care for all of our members.

One Comment

  • David Ortmeyer says:

    Help me with this. The cumulative number of positive cases can increase in a community either because of increased testing or increased transmission of the virus. But, if the percent positive stays low or falling that suggests that the increased cumulative positives is because of increased testing. If the % positive increases that suggests greater transmission. Do I have this right?

Leave a Reply