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The Checkup: State restores daily accounting of virus cases, deaths by county

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With this daily feature, The Eagle runs down breaking local developments in the coronavirus crisis.

THE NUMBERS: Berkshire County's death toll stood at 46 as of Thursday, with the confirmed COVID-19 case count rising one, to 377, the state Department of Public Health said. The agency has resumed providing that daily statistic.

The DPH said 12 new deaths were reported as of Thursday in Massachusetts, pushing the statewide total to 8,657. Deaths, including those listed as probably caused by COVID-19, are 8,888. Confirmed cases rose 262, to 115,310; adding probable cases, the total is 124,728, according to The New York Times data tracker.

The case totals (and death counts) in neighboring counties: Franklin, up two, to 377 (61); Hampshire, up three, to 1,110 (131); Hampden, up 23, to 7,505 (up three, to 732).

As of Thursday, 24,551 cases have been confirmed among residents and staff of long-term care facilities, a daily increase of 16. In all, 379 facilities have had at least one confirmed case and have seen 5,693 deaths linked to COVID-19, nine more than Wednesday.

BEYOND OUR BORDERS: Global cases as of Thursday evening totaled 22,523,192, with 790,191 deaths and 14,387,097 instances of recovery, according to data provided by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. has seen 5,565,928 cases, 174,051 deaths and 1,925,049 recoveries, the school said.

LEADING INDICATORS: The DPH provides the following statistics daily as indicators in the fight against coronavirus infection. Each provides a number and then — in a new reporting format — a change in either the count or "lowest observed value." (Previously, the DPH compared all figures to April 15 data.) Thursday's figures:

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- Seven-day weighted average of positive test rate: 1.3, unchanged;

- Three-day average of number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals: 373, up 4 percent;

- Number of hospitals using surge capacity to care: 3, up 3;

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- Three-day average of COVID-19 deaths: 13, up 19 percent.

TWO WEEK LOOKBACK: The Eagle also is calculating results for a 14-day lookback on some leading indicators. As of Thursday, positive tests over a seven-day period showed a 39.76 percent drop from two weeks ago. The three-day average of the number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals represented a 3 percent decline. The three-day average of confirmed COVID-19 deaths rose 2.7 percent from two weeks ago.

FREE TESTING ADDS HOLYOKE: Gov. Charlie Baker said this week that Holyoke, along with Salem and Saugus, will join the state's Stop the Spread program. The effort offers free COVID-19 testing in places with relatively high rates of infection. You don't have to live in Holyoke to qualify, and don't need to be symptomatic.

The state had not yet posted information on how to be tested in Holyoke. For information, visit mass.gov/info-details/stop-the-spread. The program runs through Sept. 12.

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AT THE HOSPITALS: As of Thursday, Berkshire Medical Center and Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington had no COVID-19 cases.

The patient count for other Western Massachusetts hospitals: Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, six cases, two in ICU; Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, no cases; Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, 19 cases, one in ICU; Mercy Medical Center in Springfield, five cases, one in ICU; Holyoke Hospital, six cases, none in ICU; Baystate Noble Hospital in Westfield, two cases, neither in ICU.

The numbers include confirmed and suspected cases.

Statewide, as of Thursday there were 379 people hospitalized, with the latest daily admission of 161 people. Of those hospitalized, 62 are in ICU and 23 are on ventilators.

To date, 12,213 people have been hospitalized in Massachusetts, according to Johns Hopkins, and 102,205 people have recovered.

To contribute news to The Checkup, please email lparnass@berkshireeagle.com or call 413-588-8341.


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