This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). This virus was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. (CDC via AP)
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BOSTON — The Department of Public Health announced 42 new confirmed deaths caused by COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths to 7,752 statewide.

Health officials also revealed there were an additional six probable deaths related to the virus on Wednesday, brining the total number of confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths to 7,938 statewide.

According to the DPH website, patients with a positive molecular test for COVID-19 are counted as confirmed cases. Patients with a positive serology/antibody test and either coronavirus-like symptoms or likely exposure to COVID-19 are counted as probable cases.

Patients who did not have a laboratory test but whose death certificate listed COVID-19 as a cause of death are also counted as probable deaths.

Health officials also announced 172 newly reported cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the state’s total to 107,611. Of that total, 102,762 included confirmed cases.

Numbers released Wednesday show the rate of infection based on the test rate has dropped 94% since mid-April.

Wednesday’s figures also show the three-day average of COVID-19 pateints hospitalized statewide has dropped 74% since April 15.

However, despite the overall drop, Wednesday’s numbers show the total number of patients hospitalized with the virus increased from 933 patients on Monday to 937 patients on Tuesday. That is the first increase over a 24-hour period since mid-April.

The number of hospitals using surge capacity statewide also increased for the third day in a row, despite a 81% drop since April 15. According to health officials, four hospitals are currently using surge capacity statewide.

Health officials say the average age of those hospitalized with the virus is 68 years old.

Below is the total COVID-19 infections by city and town from Jan. 1 through Wednesday and how that total compares to last week’s numbers:

• Acton – 157 (+1)

• Ayer – 136 (+6)

• Bedford – 271 (+9)

• Billerica – 539 (+4)

• Burlington – 265 (+1)

• Chelmsford – 333 (+2)

• Dracut – 459 (+3)

• Dunstable – 10 (no change)

• Groton – 43 (+2)

• Littleton – 98 (no change)

• Lowell – 2,854 (+47)

• Pepperell – 52 (no change)

• Shirley – 177 (+2)

• Tewksbury – 582 (+8)

• Townsend – 35 (+3)

• Tyngsboro – 92 (+2)

• Westford – 139 (+1)

• Wilmington – 327 (+1)

The state also released the numbers of patients currently being treated and those treated in the ICU.

Emerson Hospital has five patients being treated with one in the ICU.

Lahey Hospital-Burlington has 26 patients with four in the ICU.

Lowell General Hospital (Main campus) has 14 patients with three in the ICU.

Lowell General Hospital (Saints Campus) and Nashoba Valley Medical Center both have no patients at this time.