As Boston’s COVID-19 metrics continue to improve following a spike in cases and hospitalizations, the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) is reminding residents that the risk for getting COVID-19 remains and that individuals need to get their bivalent booster to avoid severe infection and hospitalization. BPHC also encourages everyone to mask indoors, test before and after large indoor gatherings, and to stay home when ill.
Daily COVID-19 cases in Boston have decreased by 23% over the past week and by 42% over the last 14 days (as of 1/20/23) and new COVID-19 hospitalizations are down by 10% and 16% during the same time frames (as of 1/20/23). In another positive sign, the CDC moved Suffolk County back down to medium community risk last week, after a short period of being at high.
Data from BPHC’s newly launched wastewater surveillance program show the number of COVID-19 particles in the city’s wastewater decreased by 52% over the past two weeks and are now at an average of 1,856 COVID RNA copies/mL throughout Boston. Six of the 11 neighborhoods in Boston fall below this average.
“All of our metrics are currently trending in the right direction. But it is important to remain vigilant. Nationally, hundreds of people still die from COVID daily,” said Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, Commissioner of Public Health and Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission. “I encourage everyone to get boosted, test for COVID-19, access treatment if positive, wear masks indoors and stay home if you are sick.”
Boston has also seen considerable improvement on the spread influenza, with 79 confirmed cases from January 14-20, down significantly from the peak of 944 cases observed December 3-9. While this is another encouraging trend, it is important to note that flu season can be bimodal and have two peaks of activity. As such, getting an annual flu vaccination remains critically important for ensuring protection during the remainder of flu season.
The Boston Public Health Commission has several free, walk-in standings sites offering COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, testing, flu vaccinations, and rapid at-home testing kits throughout the city. Services are available for everybody ages 6-months and older with no IDs or proof of insurance needed. Seventy-five dollar gift cards are available for those who get a COVID-19 vaccine or booster, while supplies last. This incentive is offered in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Boston City Hall – 1 City Hall Sq., Haymarket Room
• Open Mondays 7am-1pm and Wednesdays 12-5pm
Bruce C. Bolling Building – 2302 Washington St., Roxbury
• Open Tuesdays through Saturdays 12-8pm