BPHC Provides Update on City’s COVID-19 Trends

The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) today provided the following updates on the latest COVID-19 trends for the City of Boston:   

Levels of COVID-19 virus in local wastewater have decreased by 19.4% over the last seven days, and by 28.7% over the past 14 days and are now at 391 RNA copies/mL.

Data as of August 29      

New COVID-19 cases in Boston have decreased by 10% over the past seven days, and by 12.3% over the past 14 days. (Data as of August 29) 

Note, this does not include at-home rapid testing results.

Boston has seen 160 new COVID-19 related hospitalizations in the past seven days, which is an 11.2% increase over the past seven days and a 19.2% increase over the last 14 days. (Data as of August 31).  

• Community positivity is 7.3% as of August 30. 

• Suffolk county is at low community risk, according to the CDC.  

BPHC reminds residents to practice COVID-19 safety during the upcoming holiday weekends. While Suffolk County is now at low community risk, and the latest wastewater data suggests lower rates of COVID-19 in the community, you can still get infected with COVID-19. That risk is higher at large in-person gatherings. To minimize risk of infection, BPHC encourages residents to test for COVID-19 before attending gatherings; to stay home if they’re sick or test positive for COVID-19; stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations, and to gather outdoors as much as possible. Additionally, wearing masks indoors is a very effective way at reducing the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission, and is especially important if you are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.  

“Despite the decreasing amount of virus in the wastewater, residents should prepare for the possibility of an increase in cases as we head into fall and spend more time indoors at school and at home,” said Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, Commissioner of Public Health and Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission. “The best things people can do to protect themselves and their families is to stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations, and to wear masks in crowded indoor settings to decrease risk. Vaccinations are particularly important for keeping students, teachers, and other staff safe during the 2022/2023 school year and preventing absences.”  

On Thursday, the CDC recommended omicron variant-specific COVID-19 boosters for most Americans. BPHC is reviewing this recommendation and will provide guidance for residents in the coming days.  

Based on current trends, BPHC’s recommends the following COVID-19 prevention and mitigation methods:  

• Stay up to date on your COVID-19 vaccinations to reduce your risk of severe illness.  

• COVID-19 vaccines are recommended for everyone ages 6 months and older.  

• Booster doses are recommended for everyone ages 5 years and older. 

• Second booster dose are recommended for everyone ages 50 and older, as well as moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals who are 12 or older. 

• Test for COVID-19 before and after attending large gatherings, especially if you know you will be around high-risk individuals, such as seniors, those who are immunocompromised, and those who are unvaccinated.  

• IMPORTANT: The federal government program offering free at-home rapid antigen testing kits has ended. In order to test for COVID-19, you must purchase a testing kit at a local retailer or visit one of Boston’s free testing clinics.  

• The Office of Public Health Preparedness is offering free at-home rapid antigen testing kits to community partner organizations.

Visit https://tinyurl.com/TestrequestBPHC to request testing kits for your organization.

• Stay home and isolate if you are sick or test positive for COVID-19. If you test positive,contact a health care provider about treatments, which are available as oral antivirals or monoclonal antibody therapy. 

• The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is offering free telehealth services for Paxlovid, an oral antiviral that has been proven to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19 significantly. For more information, visit their website.  

• Gather outside and choose outdoor activities as often as possible.  

• Open windows and doors to ensure good indoor ventilation. 

Vaccine and booster trends (data as of August 29):  

• 74.8% of Boston residents are fully vaccinated 

• 42.5% of fully vaccinated Boston residents have received a booster 

• 48.6% of Boston children ages 5-11 are fully vaccinated 

• 74% of white children ages 5-11 are fully vaccinated, 70% of AAPI children are fully vaccinated, 36% of Latinx children are fully vaccinated, and 30% of Black children are fully vaccinated. 

• 15.4% of Boston children ages 6-months to 4-years old have received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine 

• 26% of white children ages 6-months to 4-years old have gotten their first dose, 23% of AAPI children have gotten their first dose, and 4% of Black and 4% of Latinx children have gotten their first dose.  

• 9.1% of Boston children ages 6-months to 4-years old are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

More information about COVID-19 vaccines and testing is available at boston.gov/bphc. Residents can also contact the Mayor’s Health Line for more information by calling 617-534-5050 or by going to https://www.boston.gov/bphc-mhl.

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