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Covid-19 rates falling fast in Boston, but hospitalization still going up

City Employee Vaccination Update - 1/24/22

Boston's Covid-19 testing positivity rate has fallen from a peak of roughly 32% a couple weeks ago to 18.9% on Friday, Dr. Bisola Ojiktu, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission, said this morning.

Similarly, the daily number of cases on Friday was 50% below the number the week before she said. However, Covid-19-related hospitalization was up 12%, so we're not out of the woods yet, she said.

Ojikutu spoke at a press conference called by Mayor Wu on the city's planned vaccine mandate for its workers, under which they have to show they've been vaccinated or be placed on unpaid leave. The press conference was inside City Hall; outside, Boston firefighters protested.

Wu said the requirement was delayed another week both because many city workers have gotten vaccinated over the past two weeks and because of "major steps forward" in negotiations with city unions over the past weekend.

Wu did not give specifics of the progress, although she did give one example of the sort o "impact bargaining" over the mandate with the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association: A question of whether a police office who is put on unpaid leave can get his job back if he gets a shot a few days later.

She said well over 90% of all city workers have now gotten at least their first vaccination: 94% at BPS, 95% at BPD, 91% at BFD, 95% at BPL, 96% at ISD and 97% at Parks and Recreation. She said several smaller departments, such as the city clerk's office, are at 100% compliance.

Wu said that despite the second week of delay in starting the mandate, the city will be put it into place, now after Jan. 30.

""We are very clear that this policy is necessary and important for public safety and health" of both workers and the public at large, she said.

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Any idea what the vaccination rate is for the MBTA? Happy to see so many departments over 90%.

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As the MBTA is a state agency.

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As I was reading this, I thought, "Excellent...now can we get a report with this level of detail for the state?" Lame Duck Charlie is in absentia -- is anyone at the state level taking the initiative to inform the public on statewide covid trends?

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If only there were some kind of dashboard that kept track of Massachusetts' Covid trends.

Now, as to why we are not hearing from the state on vaccinations of state employees I do not know. I have to admit that I haven't been paying too close of attention, but I believe that the state mandated vaccinations months ago, so the number would probably be close to 100% compliance. Wu, on the other hand, needs to make a point as to how many employees are affected by the change in working conditions. Janey did the same thing when the original requirement was put into effect, though she never divided the numbers by department.

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Zero chance they’re at 100% compliance.

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Swirly said that all the other public employees settled this months ago and only the police and fire unions in Boston haven't settled. Is this not true?

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It shows statewide trends. That's all very nice, but infections and outbreaks are local matters, and I would like to see more local data.

If you can find anywhere on that dashboard that shows trends below state level, I'll happily retract.

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I thought that when you referenced Governor Baker as part of a discussion of the MBTA, you were talking the entire state. Silly me.

Does your hamlet provide the data that the Big City does?

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