BOSTON – October 24, 2022 – The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) today 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 24.8% over the past week, but are holding stable over the past two weeks (-2.8%) and are now at 894 RNA copies per mL. (Data through October 19).
- New COVID-19 cases in Boston have held stable over the past seven days (+5.8%) and decreased by 24.9% over the past 14 days. (Data as of October 18).
o Note: This does not include at-home rapid testing results
- New COVID-19 related hospitalizations have increased by 12.9% over the last seven days and have held stable (+4.5%) over the last two weeks. (Data as of October 20).
- Community positivity is 6% (data as of October 24).
- Suffolk county remains at medium community risk, according to the CDC.
“The recent increases in the concentration of virus in local wastewater samples and increased hospitalizations are a reminder that COVID-19 is a serious ongoing concern,” said Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, Commissioner of Public Health and Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission. “We don’t know what the future holds for us this winter. I recommend that everyone stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations and obtain the omicron-specific booster, get their annual flu shot, and wear a mask in indoor crowded spaces, especially if you are unvaccinated, immunocompromised, or elderly.”
With cooler temperatures leading to more time spent indoors and a higher risk of respiratory illness, staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, as well as getting an annual flu vaccination will provide the broadest level of protection necessary to prevent severe illness that can result in hospitalization. The higher vaccination rates will also be crucial for avoiding an influx of COVID-19 and flu related hospitalizations that could strain or overwhelm Boston’s health care system. More information about the flu vaccines is available online, or by calling the Mayor’s Health Line at 617-534-5050.
Based on current trends, BPHC’s recommends the following COVID-19 prevention and mitigation methods:
o COVID-19 vaccines are recommended for everyone ages 6 months and older.
o Booster doses are recommended for everyone ages 5 years and older.
o Second booster dose are recommended for everyone ages 50 and older, as well as moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals who are 12 or older.
- 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.
o IMPORTANT: The federal government program offering free at-home rapid antigen testing kits has ended. In order to test for COVID-19, you must purchase a testing kit at a local retailer or visit one of Boston’s free testing clinics.
o The Office of Public Health Preparedness is offering free at-home rapid antigen testing kits to community partner organizations. Click here to request testing kits for your organization.
- Stay home and isolate if you are sick or test positive for COVID-19. If you test positive, contact a health care provider about treatments, which are available as oral antivirals or monoclonal antibody therapy.
o 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.
o Open windows and doors to ensure good indoor ventilation.
Vaccine and booster trends*
- 79.5% of Boston residents are now fully vaccinated.
- 50.9% of Boston children ages 5-11 are fully vaccinated.
- 14.4% of Boston children ages 6-months to 4-years old are fully vaccinated.
More information about COVID-19 vaccines and testing is available at boston.gov/covid19. 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.
Media Relations Manager
Boston Public Health Commission
1010 Massachusetts Ave.
Boston, Massachusetts 02118