Special to the Regional Review
The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) provided the following updates on the latest COVID-19 trends for the City of Boston:
Levels of COVID-19 virus in local wastewater have increased by 17.8% over the last seven days but have held stable over the past 14 days with a 7.4% decrease, and are now at 520 RNA copies/mL.
(Data as of August 15)
New COVID-19 cases in Boston have decreased by 20.5% over the past seven days, and by 22.7% over the past 14 days. (Data as of August 15)
In the Beacon Hill area there were two new cases reported.
Boston has seen 146 new COVID-19 related hospitalizations in the past seven days, which is a 0.6% decrease over the past seven days and a 18.4% decrease over the last 14 days.
(Data as of August 17),
Community positivity is 7.2% as of August 18
Suffolk county remains at medium community risk, according to the CDC.
With back-to-school season and cooler temperatures approaching, BPHC is encouraging families to plan ahead by ensuring school aged children and teens are up to date on their vaccinations, including COVID-19. Parents and guardians should schedule a check-up for their child before the school year begins. This is an opportunity to discuss your child’s health, as well as vaccines, with their pediatrician.
Getting as many children and teens up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations as possible is crucial to these efforts. Vaccines and boosters are our the most effective tools for preventing transmission in school settings. It is important for youth’s emotional wellbeing and academic performance that they experience a more normal school year that doesn’t involve widespread shutdowns and remote learning. A full list of COVID-19 vaccination clinics in Boston is available on the BPHC website.
“Just like getting books and school supplies, making sure your child gets a checkup from their doctor is a very important part of the back-to-school routine,” said Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, Commissioner of Public Health and Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission. “I encourage all parents and guardians to use this checkup as an opportunity to get your child vaccinated or boosted for COVID-19 to help keep them healthy, reduce their risk of infection and ensure they can stay in school with minimal interruption.”
Based on current trends, BPHC’s recommendations remain unchanged. Proper COVID-19 safety and mitigation practices are our best tool for driving our metrics down further. Residents should continue to adhere to the following strategies to prevent COVID-19 transmission:
Stay up to date on your COVID-19 vaccinations to reduce your risk of severe illness.
COVID-19 vaccines are recommended for everyone ages 6 months and older.
Booster doses are recommended for everyone ages 5 years and older.
Second booster dose are recommended for everyone ages 50 and older, as well as moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals who are 12 or older.
Wear masks indoors, especially in crowded indoor settings like public transportation.
Test for COVID-19 before and after attending large gatherings, especially if you know you will be around high-risk individuals, such as seniors, those who are immunocompromised, and those who are unvaccinated.
Stay home and isolate if you are sick or test positive for COVID-19. If you test positive contact a health care provider about oral antivirals or monoclonal antibody therapy.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is offering free telehealth services for Paxlovid, an oral antiviral that has been proven to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19 significantly. For more information, visit their website.
Gather outside and choose outdoor activities as often as possible.
Open windows and doors to ensure good indoor ventilation.
Vaccine and booster trends (data as of August 15):
74.5% of Boston residents are fully vaccinated
42.2% of fully vaccinated Boston residents have received a booster
48.1% of Boston children ages 5-11 are fully vaccinated
73% of white children ages 5-11 are fully vaccinated, 69% of AAPI children are fully vaccinated, 35% of Latinx children are fully vaccinated, and 29% of Black children are fully vaccinated.
13.4% of Boston children ages 6-months to 4-years old have received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine
23% of white children ages 6-months to 4-years old have gotten their first dose, 20% of AAPI children have gotten their first dose, and 3% of Black and 3% of Latinx children have gotten their first dose.
More information about COVID-19 vaccines and testing is available at boston.gov/bphc. Residents can also contact the Mayor’s Health Line for more information by calling 617-534-5050 or by going to https://www.boston.gov/bphc-mhl.