CDC says Suffolk County at high Covid-19 risk again
The Boston Public Health Commission relays the news, based on growing numbers of Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations in Boston, Revere, Chelsea and Winthrop.
Also at high numbers: Covid-19 viral particles in sewage at the MWRA's Deer Island plant, which has become a predictor of new cases in the coming couple of weeks.
According to BPHC:
BPHC’s COVID-19 testing sites are reporting 18 new COVID-19 cases per day, marking a 22% increase over the past seven days (data as of January 2). Through January 4, Boston’s hospitals reported 306 new COVID-19 related hospitalizations. While that trend is stable through the past seven days, it is a 41% increase over the past 14 days.
In a statement, Boston Public Health Commissioner Bisola Ojikutu says what you'd expect:
Based on the trends, it is imperative that we all protect ourselves and others. I understand there’s a very high level of pandemic fatigue, but the numbers speak for themselves. We should all be masking indoors, staying home when sick, and testing for COVID-19. In addition, getting boosted is the best way to protect yourself from severe illness and hospitalization.
Also: Get your omicron-specific bivalent booster and flu shot if, like most people, you haven't, the former because it can lessen the severity of any infection, the latter because it can stop the flu, which can also turn deadly. And wear "a well-fitting, high-quality mask indoors and on public transportation," stay home if you experience any symptoms of a respiratory illness or test positive for Covid-19, and test yourself before and after indoor gatherings. Regular hand washing? Of course.
BPHC reports less than 14% of Bostonians have gotten a Covid-19 booster shot.
Get your boosters - and test kits - for free at several BPHC vaccination shots, and go home with a $75 gift card to boot: No ID, no appointment, no nothing required.
- Hyde Park Community Center, 1179 River S., Hyde Park, Tuesdays, 12-8 p.m. and Thursdays, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Lena Park CDC, 150 American Legion Highway, Dorchester, Sundays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Mondays and Fridays, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
- Fiorentino Community Center, 123 Antwerp St, Allston , Sundays, 12-4 p.m., Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Thursdays, 5-9 p.m.
- Bolling Building, 2302 Washington St., Roxbury, Tuesday through Saturday, noon-8 p.m.
- Boston City Hall, Rm. 240, Mondays, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Wednesdays, noon-5 p.m.
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The MWRA numbers have already
The MWRA numbers have already started to trend downward.
You might want to wait another test day before declaring we're out of these woods. A single small decline could be a blip.
They dipped about 10%, but
The circulating COVID wastewater levels today are still at the highest point after Jan 2022. Nearly double anything else we've seen after then, too.
Today? Do you have more
Today? Do you have more recent data than what MRWA posted? Their most recent data points are Jan. 3, and the North number is half of what it was on Dec. 26.
Would it be dangerous to get the booster multiple times?
I find it sad that people need to be incentivized to keep up-to-date with vaccinations, but if it takes a gift card to convince some people, so be it. But if no ID or appointment is required, what's to prevent people from getting boosted multiple times to collect multiple payments?
Nah, go for it if you want
This guy got 90 and was fine
Would it be beneficial?
Would a second jab of the bivalent provide any additional immunity or protection from severe illness from the most recent variants?
In the same way the original shot required a priming first shot and a reinforcing second one, the same thing may be necessary with the updated vaccine to overcome immune imprinting (aka, whimsically, "original antigenic sin") due to the WA.1 and the BA.4/BA.5 spike having so many shared epitopes.
These authors among others conclude "follow-up studies are needed to determine if the antibody responses [to the old vs. new vaccines] will deviate in time, including the impact of a second bivalent booster."
After some time, yes
Response may wane over six months or so.
Before that? Marginal benefit at best.
I got hit by COVID exactly three weeks after my bivalent vaccination, so I've probably got a bit of time before another booster would improve things.
I think I know the likely source of this spike...
The MBTA, especially the Orange Line due to its lack of active trains and the overcrowding that results from it.
That makes no sense
So you can get COVID on a packed platform but not if the trains on time and you get a pack train car with little clean air.
There was also Xmas
Lots of people traveling and getting close to others. There's usually a spike in flu cases after the holidays, too.
Travel is the bigger factor
People gather from all over and you don't generally mask around family so more than good tidings and presents are exchanged and distributed.
High time for some
High time for some transparency, don't ya think? What percentage of these cases are vaxed, how many, which vaccine, what percentage are healthy cases with no underlying conditions, what age group percentage, etc. I had all five vaccines and must admit, I'm still asking Jesus to save me from the Covid wrath.
I'm not sure how the MWRA samples for covid in wastewater but I have to wonder if the prodigious amount of rain entering the system might have something to do with it. idk? (notice I could have said "watered down" but I didn't, still sticking to my NY resolution to avoid the lazy puns)
They correct for dilution
The reported virus particle counts are normalized against counts for another virus (“mild mottled pepper virus”), which is a reliable marker for human feces. Mild mottled pepper virus is a virus of plants, not of people, but it is present in human shit and not in most animal shit.
Google MyMap of Clinic Locations
I exported the table of clinic locations, did a bunch of data tidying, and uploaded the information to a Google MyMap:
I find this helpful for spatial visualization. Clicking on a pin reveals all dates and times for that location, any accessibility notes, and a registration link (if available). This is a static snapshot of the database as of 1/6, but if I notice any major changes on the website I'll try to re-export and update it. Please double-check your selected clinic location and date on the original Mass.gov website just in case I made a copy/paste error.
This is helpful.
As with Anna Cole tents, good
As with Anna Cole tents, good idea but months late.
...months late to reporting new data?
I guess maybe the CDC should have hired better seers.
If you need a seer to foresee
If you need a seer to foresee a holiday surge, you should not hold a cabinet level position.