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BOSTON — As hospitals battle a record surge of COVID-19 infections, physicians are urging the state to create a system to track empty beds in emergency rooms to ease capacity issues.

Golden Hill Principal Bruce Michitson looks over Christmas cards from children at his home in Haverhill. Michitson is on the road to recovery …

Massachusetts now has more COVID-19 patients hospitalized than at any point since May 2020, surpassing the tally of patients during last winter’s surge as the omicron variant continues to spread rapidly.

BOSTON -- Gov. Charlie Baker is expanding COVID-19 testing options and deploying more National Guard troops to hospitals as the state continues to battle a record surge of infections and hospitalizations. 

Public health officials reported 9,228 new COVID-19 infections Tuesday, more than enough to push the number of confirmed cases in Massachusetts above the 1 million mark since the pandemic began in early 2020.

Massachusetts cities and towns, school districts, libraries, public hospitals and other entities will be able to purchase rapid COVID-19 test kits for $5 to $26 per test under a new state contract, the Baker administration announced Wednesday.