Here’s why COVID-19 data for Massachusetts is inconsistent this week

Massachusetts on Wednesday confirmed 3,224 new cases of COVID-19, the highest on record in the Commonwealth. The previous record (and the only other time the state has reported more than 3,000 cases per day) was April 23, at the height of the spring push that hit the northeast.

Massachusetts has also confirmed 53 deaths, the highest since mid-June.

But there is a slight snag to Wednesday’s numbers. The update was delayed due to a technology glitch that interrupted the download of data, and it turns out the numbers reflect a 30 hour period instead of 24.

Despite the discrepancy, Wednesday’s numbers still maintain the alarming surge that hit the state last month after a relatively tame summer.

It’s part of a trend across the country: While hospitalization levels in Massachusetts are still far from spring levels, the virus is the worst it has ever been nationally, with rates hospitalization almost 50% higher than during the peaks of spring and summer. Daily deaths are not far behind.

It’s a disturbing pattern just before the holiday season begins, and Thanksgiving itself will further complicate the data from Massachusetts.

On Thanksgiving Day, the state will not release the Daily Update and the Regular Weekly Report, which typically comes out on Thursdays. Friday’s update will include COVID-19 data from Thursday and Friday, as well as the weekly report. It is possible that the numbers will be twice as large as expected on Friday.

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