Boston Public Health Commission 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 reported on July 28:
- Levels of COVID-19 virus in local wastewater have decreased by 21.1% in the past seven days and are now at 578 RNA copies/mL.
- 14 days ago it was up to 763 RNA copies/mL.
- The current rate is still high, but is an improvement from the rates of more than 1,000 RNA copies/mL that were observed in early June.
- New COVID-19 cases in Boston have stabilized over the last seven days.
- Boston has seen a total of 148 new COVID-19 related hospital admission over the past seven days.
- This is a 14.7% decrease over the past week, and this number is stable over the past 14 days.
- This number is still comparatively low to previous waves.
- Community positivity is currently at 9.2%.
- Suffolk County remains at medium community risk, according to the CDC.
“The improvement in our COVID-19 trends over the past two weeks is a welcomed sign, but we must remain vigilant, especially with the highly transmissible BA.5 variant making up a majority of cases in the region,” said Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, Commissioner of Public Health and Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission. “We’ve seen a consistent pattern of ups and downs for the past few months, but, overall, Boston’s metrics are at a medium risk level. The risk of transmission is still significant, and we all need to continue to take proper precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.”
The highly transmissible BA.5 variant, which accounts for 81.4% of COVID-19 cases in New England, has resulted in several instances of reinfection. It’s ability to evade immunity from the initial vaccine series and prior infection are further reason for everyone to get a COVID-19 booster. Booster doses provide an added layer of protection that supports a strong immune response to the virus, significantly reducing the likelihood of infection and severe illness.
Based on current trends, BPHC’s recommendations remain unchanged. Proper COVID-19 safety and mitigation practices are our best tool for driving our metrics down further. Residents should continue to adhere to the following strategies to prevent COVID-19 transmission:
- Stay up to date on your COVID-19 vaccinations to reduce your risk of severe illness.
- COVID-19 vaccines are now recommended for everyone ages 6-months and up.
- Booster doses are available for everyone ages 5 and older.
- Second boosters are recommended for individuals ages 50 and older, as well as those who are 12 or older and moderately to severely immunocompromised.
- Wear masks indoors, especially in crowded indoor settings like public transportation.
- 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.
- Stay home and isolate if you are sick or test positive for COVID-19. If you test positive, contact a health care provider about 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:
- 74.2% of Boston residents are fully vaccinated
- 41.8% of fully vaccinated Boston residents have received a booster
- 47.3% of Boston children ages 5-11 are fully vaccinated
- 73% of white children ages 5-11 are fully vaccinated, 68% of AAPI children are fully vaccinated, 35% of Latinx children are fully vaccinated, and 28% of Black children are fully vaccinated.
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 boston.gov/bphc-mhl.