Coronavirus case counts and other metrics are on the rise, sending worrisome signals about a possible third surge of the deadly virus in Massachusetts.

The seven-day average of reported cases, which hovered at just over 1,300 in early March, has now climbed to over 2,000. Hospitalizations, which tend to follow a surge in cases, have begun to tick up again. Test positivity rates are also on the rise, reaching 4.2 percent statewide when college testing programs are factored out.

“It looks to me like we’re very much entering into another surge,” Northeastern University epidemiologist Samuel Scarpino said this week.

At the same time, Scarpino said, this surge may not be as bad as the two previous ones, which hit last spring and last fall. Factors working in our favor include a rising level of vaccinations, especially among older residents and vulnerable populations, and the protection ramping up in the systems of those vaccinated weeks ago, he said.

“While the cases are going up, we’re also building up immunity,” he said. “We’re entering into a surge of immunity.”


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