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Massachusetts enters the new year with more than 2,000 hospitalized Covid-19 patients

Hospitalization numbers for Covid-19 in Massachusetts

As of Jan. 3. Source.

Massachusetts reported 2,109 people in hospital beds with Covid-19. Yesterday, the number was 2,372 - a 12.5% increase in just three days.

The last time we'd seen that many hospitalized Covid-19 patients was a year ago, during the previous winter surge.

As of yesterday, 441 patients were in ICUs - 262 of them intubated.

That compares to the peak ICU day during the last winter surge, Jan. 12, when there were 461 people with Covid-19 in ICUs. The peak day for intubation during that surge was Jan. 19, with 299.

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Weekend, holiday, and death data:

Deaths added to the dashboard on Monday were reported Friday; deaths reported Saturday through Monday are added to the dashboard on Tuesday

https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-response-reporting

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The clarification is important.

That said, hospital admissions are real time. That and the positive test rate bothers me.

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The 2372 number in hospital is todays report. Not sure where the 2109 number comes from?

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2372 for 1/3.
2221 for 1/2
2109 for 1/1

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Since they are over several days, not for one day, like the hospitalization numbers.

My apologies for the mistake. For some reason, i thought Friday was the "official" holiday, not Monday.

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It was Friday for a lot of places. I believe it was for the Federal government since my son works for a company that follows the Federal holiday schedule and he had Friday off, and my university also gave Friday off instead of Monday.

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I thought it was pretty much standard for a holiday on a Saturday to be given on Friday and a holiday on a Sunday to be given on the Monday.

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I think it depends on what you mean by "standard". My company has international operations: the US got last Friday off, Europe got Monday off, for example.

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For example, the MBTA ran Saturday service schedules on Fridays, 12/24 and 12/31, but normal weekday service on the Mondays, 12/27 and 1/3.

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Adam, do know if tests can show whether it's omicron, delta, or original Covid19? Sincerely from the heart, I now have seen you to deliver information that no other Boston news source can. Doctors use the term Covid, and kits we buy at drugstores day for Covid, and Lysol cans say good for Covid, and I have all 3 shots for Covid, yet my masked ass got "Covid" per the free Covid test that I waited in line for and phone call. I'M SO CONFUSED!! And sick of all the random answers in Google as to why Covid19 vaxed people are getting "Covid" . I know u are not God, but I do have to say you are my awesome source of truth and news!! Please stay well!

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Northeastern, which has its own testing lab, started breaking out the variants on its dashboard last month.

But as far as I know, the tests you can buy at a drugstore or get done at a testing site do not give you the variant you might have.

Somebody can correct me but I think the reason is the extra effort isn't really worth it, since the steps you would take if you have omicron are the same as if you were instead infected with delta or whatever: Isolate, drink lots of fluids, wear a mask, call your doctor if you develop more than minor symptoms, etc.

As for why you might have tested positive, despite being fully vaccinated: Unfortunately, it happens. That doesn't mean the vaccine failed, though, because odds are your case will be far, far more minor than if you got infected but were unvaccinated. And you'll fight it off that much more quickly, reducing the number of other people you might infect.

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That's right, the strain is important only if you are hospitalized and need treatment.

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The home test kits use a different method than the hospital PCR tests. I don't think the PCRs can't tell the differences between all strains, but there's a difference that can be seen between omicron and the others.

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Where did you get a free test from?

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First, you will get covid, vaccinated or not, sooner or later. The difference the vaccine makes is how bad a case you will get. The vast majority of people who are vaccinated get some kind of cough and maybe fever, not life-threatening illness. (The elderly and otherwise immunocompromised are at higher risk either way, but still get improved protection.)

All of the vaccines should protect you to a reasonable degree against all of the variants. This will likely continue to be true, since the vaccines target a part of the virus that is unlikely to change *too* much. Some of the vaccines are better (Moderna!), and some of the variants aren't as good a match, but this is all relative.

PCR tests *can* distinguish between the variants, but only if they're set up to do so. And I don't believe the FDA has authorized labs to give that information back to patients, since that would be "medical test results" that haven't been approved. But variant information does get used for statistical reporting at the population level.

Lateral flow tests generally cannot distinguish, but it really doesn't matter.

As for disinfectants, the covid variant is irrelevant.

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My 8 year old daughter tested positive with cold like symptoms after going to first night at patriot place , being mostly outdoors there and wearing a mask and vaxinated , so be careful and take a test even if you think uts a cold!

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This Omicron variant is reportedly much more easily caught than previous versions, so even a brief encounter with an infected person can give it to you. All that debate early on about whether someone running by you can infect you is now moot. Mask up, everywhere. Omicron also reproduces much more rapidly once you're infected, and makes you contagious more quickly. If you're choosing not to get vaccinated, you're playing Russian roulette, and risking the lives of others.

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At least according to my anecdotal evidence. I have numerous friends and family members that have had mild symptoms and performed a rapid test all reporting negative. Some took multiple tests too - all negative. Then took a PCR shortly thereafter and all tested positive. Seems like rapid tests are worthless. Fortunately, they were boosted and had very minor symptoms, and smart enough to not fully trust the rapid test and isolate until they got their PCR results. I wonder how many people out there get the negative result and continue to spread covid?

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Also masks are worthless. I know people who wore N95 to restaurants and still got covid.

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Curious.

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1. How do you eat with an N95 on?

2. Who did their N95 fit test?

3. Do they know that the restaurant was where they were exposed?

Masks are not worthless, but masks are not perfect. Neither are condoms, nor is hormonal birth control. Automobiles are designed to be safer than ever, and yet people still die in car crashes. Need I continue?

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“I know people who were killed in accidents even while wearing helmets, therefore helmets are useless.”

Do you seriously not see how fucking stupid that line of argument looks?

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People die in auto accidents while wearing seat belts. Many others live, who would have died had they not been wearing the belts. Shall we conclude that seat belts are "worthless"? Don't be ridiculous.

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Anit Vaxxers usually think the vax could or will hurt them. They are worried about the unknown of the vax. Did the government make them? What are the long term effects? Granted most are disingenuous but there is the concept of vaccines doing damage.

No one thinks seat belts or helmets or smoke detectors or other preventive concepts actually could do damage to you....

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in particular, reference to N95s, which are far from a new creation.

I don't think you want to make the argument that no one has falsely thought that wearing masks is somehow riskier than exposure to COVID?

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The lack of FDA/CDC transparency is alarming. They have legal obligations and aren’t fulfilling them, but if we did this our lives would be hell.

They have a new safety monitoring system, v-safe, which is in use and contains 119 million entries of post EUA deidenfied safety data. Oracle has it today. They could release this now, but they’re hiding.

If you’re interested in why people don’t trust these 3 letter agencies, this 5 minute article is stunning to me (court filings are at the bottom, if interested). The media isn’t discussing it either.

https://aaronsiri.substack.com/p/the-fda-wants-to-hide-pre-licensure

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Aaron Siri is a well-known grifter lawyer prominent in the anti-vax movement helping to raise millions. He wants to end the emergency use authorization for the three vaccines.

Get stuffed.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jun/22/anti-vax-group-legal-bli...

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Aaron says there is post EUA deidentified safety data available now. He sued the government to produce it. If you can produce it here, I’ll Venmo you.
Otherwise, we are done.

If you have evidence to the contrary, add your $0.02 to his federal lawsuit.

Take a deep breath and scroll on by friend. I’m not engaging you ever again.

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Pound sand.

What you post is easily identified as anti-vax propaganda and you should not be taken seriously.

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Any thoughts on the moon landing being faked or the Earth being flat? Stunning.

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No one thinks seat belts or helmets or smoke detectors or other preventive concepts actually could do damage to you....

I remember one of the big arguments against seatbelts having been that they would trap you in the car to be burned to death after a crash.

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And I guess people have fallen off ladders and broken their necks putting up smoke detectors as well.

But the seat belt thing was about driving into a lake right?

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No one thinks seat belts or helmets or smoke detectors or other preventive concepts actually could do damage to you....

There were large campaigns against seatbelts and I've heard plenty of people try and argue that they're actually more dangerous because they could cause an injury in a sudden stop, and they could theoretically trap you in the car. Heck, they're still not mandatory in New Hampshire (live free or die, indeed...).

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Granted, this isn't the helmet directly causing damage to someone, just the perception of safety seeming to encourage more risk taking:
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/jan/24/bike-helmet-appetite-danger

And there are studies about motorists driving closer to cyclists that wear helmets:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/carltonreid/2018/11/14/motorists-punish-hel...

Still not direct harm of course.

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Also masks are worthless. I know people who wore N95 to restaurants and still got covid.

Gee, maybe they got it it elsewhere.

I can't believe there are still people denying the effectiveness of masks after almost two years.

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The sensitivity of rapid tests in asymptomatic infected people can be as low as 40%. That information is out there for anyone who chooses to be thoughtful about how they’re living and what they’re doing with negative results.

As AI pioneer John McCarthy famously said, “Those who refuse to do arithmetic are doomed to talk nonsense.”

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You’re reading comprehension needs work. They were all (6 people) symptomatic and took multiple (up to 5 rapid tests a person) and all tested negative until finally getting a PCR test slot and all testing positive. This seems like a big problem.

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Unfortunately, that's not a statistically surprising result. A negative rapid test doesn't have a whole lot of information value. We don't know the specifics of what leads to false negatives, but it's likely that taking the same manufacturer's test, using the same technique, multiple times, isn't going to improve the sensitivity.

Right now, we're kind of stuck with a positive rapid test result being pretty likely to be true and a negative rapid test result being only somewhat likely to be true.

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People don't generally like shoving a glorified q-tip up their nose and this time of year the air is very dry and so the closer you get to the end of your nostril the lower the amount and quality of the sample will be.

Combine those things and I can easily see that leading to an increase in false negatives.

When we've done them here we always do a nice vigorous blow of the nose just before to try to ensure that the insides of the nostrils are wet with fluid from the sinus cavities. It doesn't make it a guarantee that they'll be accurate (IIRC they have a bit more than a 1 in 10 false negative in controlled studies), but it should at least improve your sample quality and the odds of catching that you have it with one of the antigen tests.

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I will note that two out of the six are medical doctors.

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Here in 2022 we have all the data in the world, yet here we are refusing a life saving vaccine (and calling rapid tests worthless) because of a story about Nikki Minaj’s cousin’s friend’s swollen testicles.

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I made a comment about rapid tests having some serious issues with false negatives and you jump into not getting vaccines even though I specifically stated they were all boosted.

What data do you have that states rapid tests are very accurate because my real world experience shows the opposite.

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Sorry, I made a sarcastic joke that was at best tangentially related to your point. But I stand by my point that anecdotes are generally worthless (and further that rapid tests are insanely valuable), and here’s why.

Widely-available rapid tests have been used to identify (tens of?) millions of positive cases, informing many, many people that they should isolate and not further spread the disease.

Does that mean that rapid antigen tests are perfect? Of course not. Is it frustrating that antigen tests don’t always identify the virus as fast as we’d like (whether we’re contagious or will be soon or were recently)? Yes, we wish that rapid tests were more accurate, and we wish that we had more PCR tests and they were far easier to access.

Does this mean that rapid tests are worthless? That we’d be better off without having identified millions of cases so that we could prevent millions of additional infections? You tell me.

(And save me any counter-factuals that depend on the wishes mentioned above.)

I’m frustrated with people who base their decisions and make bold proclamations based on anecdotes, who don’t understand that a vaccine that prevents 50% of additional infections is still insanely valuable, who don’t understand that rapid tests that are even 50% effective at identifying covid cases and helping those people realize that they should isolate can still prevent millions of covid cases, thousands of hospitalizations and deaths… ditto cloth masks, and on and on. (Edit: to be clear, I’m not accusing you of all of these sins.)

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I appreciate you taking the time to respond. I could have used better words in getting my point across that people are putting way too much reliability on these rapid tests. With that said, your point that even if they’re only 50% correct (I have to imagine they’re much better than this), there’s still a big benefit to them makes total sense.

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And, putting myself in your shoes, I’d be pretty frustrated too. My family uses these often as a basic check before we send our kids to school/daycare, but their high rate of false negatives does make them poorly suited for testing after actual exposures (high likelihood of transmitting/contracting).

Pandemics, man… turns out they’re tough!

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What data do you have that states rapid tests are very accurate

No one said that. You're the one who made the absolute assertion that they're worthless, which is nonsense. Whether they're useful for a given purpose, or allow you to draw a particular set of conclusions, is another matter.

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Confirmation bias is a hell of a drug eh?

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7 people live in my house.

One had symptoms for covid and was given a rapid test and tested positive.

The other six take a test and 4 more test positive (5 positive, 2 negative)

All seven now go get a PCR test and the results come back 5 positive and 2 negative.

Conclusion: Solid/Consistent testing results for my family.

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Anecdotes are worthless

but, but... the plural of anecdote is data.

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I’m a fan of this saying

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You and I have each heard that saying, so that's conclusive then, right?

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I think two numbers that are most important are percentage of vaccinated vs unvaxed in hospital and further, percentages in the ICU. It was 75% unvaccinated a couple of weeks ago in the Mass General Brigham, system.
Also, what is the average hospital stay in both places. Someone coming in for 2 days of supplemental oxygen is very different from 2 months on a ventilator.

Cheers!

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Overall in MA 2400 hospitalized, 900 of those are vaccinated. Of course 5M overall are vaccinated and 1.8M are not, so the unvaccinated are that much more well-represented.

https://www.nbcboston.com/news/coronavirus/45029-new-breakthrough-cases-...

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That seemed to consist of two people standing three feet away from each screaming their heads off.

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There were two subthreads. One that you describe (looked quite nasty, I didn’t read it), another in which we walked through the number of cases and hospitalizations avoided. I’m flattering myself but I think the latter was worthwhile and I’m bummed that you zapped it.

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You're right. I started at the top of the overall thread and deleted that initial comment and that took everything underneath it with it into the ether. I should have been more careful with the pruning, for which I apologize.

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