The number of new COVID cases in Massachusetts has been up and down in recent weeks, but health officials anticipate there could be an increase in cases as the winter draws near and as newer, more resistant strains of the virus begin to show themselves.

Winter weather, including colder temperatures, brings people indoors where they are more apt to breathe one another's air -- and share their germs. That's why colds, flu, and other such treats are more numerous among folks during the winter. We remain trapped in one another's space.

According to the most recent report by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), there were 5,569 new confirmed cases of COVID in Massachusetts for the week ending Nov. 2.

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The daily average of new COVID cases decreased after being on the rise in recent weeks. Hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID were also down following recent increases.

Your humble correspondent recently tested positive for COVID -- my second bout with the virus -- and spent much of a week battling cold-like symptoms. Four members of my extended family tested positive within days of my becoming sick.

Massachusetts Has Not Seen The Last Of COVID
Barry Richard/Townsquare Media

Within a couple of days of experiencing symptoms, you should complete a home test for COVID. If the test results are positive, isolate. Contact a healthcare provider if symptoms intensify.

Nearly 2 million confirmed cases of COVID have been recorded in Massachusetts since the pandemic began in 2020.

For the past two years, Massachusetts hospitals and other healthcare providers paused some elective procedures during the winter months to free up capacity to deal with an increase in COVID cases.

Asked about what to expect this season, Gov. Charlie Baker said last week, "There is a lot of supposition in that question that's hard to answer at this point in time. I do think the fact that Massachusetts has very high vaccination rates will serve us well as we go forward."

Massachusetts Has Not Seen The Last Of COVID
Acushnet MA Office of Emergency Management via Facebook

Massachusetts DPH says 85% of residents aged 5 and older have completed a primary COVID vaccine series.

DPH advises residents to stay up on the latest vaccine boosters; wear masks in crowded places, especially if unvaccinated, immunocompromised or elderly; and receive a flu shot.

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