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Boston Covid-19 numbers going up again; city recommends, but does not require, indoor mask wearing

The number of new Covid-19 cases in the city has increased 39% over the past week - and that levels of viral particles in the MWRA sewage system, an indicator of what we could see over the next week to ten days, is up 28%, the Boston Public Health Commission reported today.

The number of Boston residents hospitalized with Covid-19 is also up, by 24.6%, while the citywide rate of infection among people getting tested is now 10%, the department says, adding, however, that instances of "severe illness" remain low.

The recent upticks in the city’s COVID-19 metrics are primarily due to the emergence of the highly infectious BA.5 variant, which now accounts for most COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts. Increased social activity and travel during the July 4th weekend is also a contributing factor.

In a statement, city Public Health Commissioner Bisola Ojikutu said:

Based on current trends, it is essential that people protect themselves and others by wearing masks within indoor crowded settings, testing, isolating if they’re sick, and staying up to date with their vaccinations which will reduce the risk of severe illness from COVID-19.



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I've been masking indoors pretty much this entire time and I've definitely been in the minority lately. BA5 has been getting people all around me, including those who managed to evade prior variants. It is no joke! I really don't understand why more people are not masking indoors in public settings. It's not difficult.

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Or unpleasant. But many people do, and they are done. Cloth and surgical masks aren't going to provide their wearers significant protection against BA.5. If you're someone at risk of severe illness in the event of Covid infection, you're probably going to need to wear (properly!) an N95 or similar respirator at appropriate times for the foreseeable future, because Covid is never going away.

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Cloth and surgical masks aren't going to provide their wearers significant protection against BA.5.

So wear a KN95. It's what I do, they're not uncomfortable, and I haven't gotten covid yet.

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