NEWBURYPORT — COVID-19 infection rates continued to rise over the past two weeks, with Amesbury and Newburyport both recording 70 or more positive cases during that time.

The latest data from the state Department of Public Health released Thursday showed 76 new positive cases of the coronavirus reported in Amesbury in the past two weeks, up from 63 cases in the previous two-week period. Newburyport recorded 70 new cases in the more recent data, up from 53 in the prior two-week period.

According to the DPH, other communities also saw increases, including Georgetown, up 55 positive cases; Groveland up 19; Merrimac reporting 24 new cases; Newbury recording 25; Rowley reporting 17; Salisbury with 31; and West Newbury reporting nine cases.

The state Health Department said there were 3,196 new confirmed cases in the previous 24 hours for a total of 826,996 since the pandemic was declared in March 2020. An additional 394 probable cases were also reported Thursday, bringing the total to 60,893 probable cases.

The DPH said 657 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19, including 132 in intensive care units and 67 of them intubated. The total number hospitalized stood at 522 a week ago.

There were eight new confirmed deaths reported Thursday, bringing the number of confirmed deaths from the coronavirus to 18,834. The state said there have 410 probable deaths from the virus in total.

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