CDC map

A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention map of COVID-19 cases across the U.S. The lightest blue is where case rates are lowest per 100,000 population; dark blue has the highest rates of infections.

Image: CDC

The rate of total COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts is comparable to that of a number of other states across the U.S., according data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the agency's map showed Massachusetts with 7,844 cumulative coronavirus cases per 100,000 population since Jan. 21, 2020. 

Missouri's rate is 7,693; Colorado, 7,196; New York, 7,911; North Carolina 7,860; Florida 8,370; and Texas, 8,842. California, which has the highest rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations, and whose medical system is buckling, has a case rate of 8,621.

Measuring virus cases by rate allows for a state-by-state comparison regardless of a state's total population. It also reveals the myriad influences that determine the impact of the virus, given some of the differences in culture and public health policies meant to curb the spread of the virus. 

North Dakota and South Dakota have the highest rates as a share of population, at 12,962 and 12,477, respectively. 

Vermont and Hawaii have the lowest rates, at 2,222 and 1,843.

Nearly a year into the pandemic, as people clamor for vaccines, more than 486,000 deaths nationwide are attributed to COVID-19, and more than 27,706,000 people have been infected, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Massachusetts has seen 530,735 confirmed cases as of Monday, with 4,738 cases and 242 deaths in Berkshire County.

Most states are easing restrictions to varying degrees as cases in the U.S. decline, though counts are still higher than "the first two peaks in the pandemic," according to the CDC.

Since Jan. 8, 2021, daily cases have declined by 69 percent and the seven-day average of daily cases fell by 23 percent, the agency says on its website. Though it "provides an encouraging sign of recent progress," the CDC urges continued vigilance with precautions like mask wearing.

Heartened by Massachusetts data, Gov. Charlie Baker recently rolled back the lockdowns somewhat, increasing capacity in restaurants and ending the evening curfew.

Heather Bellow can be reached at hbellow@berkshireeagle.com or 413-329-6871. On Twitter @BE_hbellow.