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Number of people hospitalized for Covid-19 in Massachusetts is 47% higher than a month ago

The latest Massachusetts Covid-19 statistics, released this afternoon, show 500 people in the hospital with the virus as of yesterday, compared to 340 on Sept. 8.

That's still dramatically lower than the peak of 3,965 recorded on April 21, but when coupled with other data, it continues to show a slow but steady increase in the state's Covid-19 numbers.

The state reported 734 new cases of Covid-19 today, compared to 363 a month earlier.

Although daily numbers can fluctuate dramatically based on how many tests are given on a given day, state figures for the percentage of people testing positive is also increasing.

Over the week ending yesterday, the state reported a total positivity rate of 1.1% compared to 0.8% a month ago - a 45% increase. That includes people who have taken multiple tests.

But charts further down in the state report show grimmer numbers in recent days. On Oct. 8, the number of people who tested positive (the 1.1% figure above includes all tests; some people are tested more than once), was 4.6% of the people who took tests tested positive, compared to 2.4% on Sept. 8 - a 92% increase. Yesterday's number was also up from 3.2% on Wednesday and Tuesday.

In Boston, officials have been noting an uptick in cases over the past few weeks - enough so that for the second week in a row, the city is now colored red on the state's warning map, because the city is now showing 8.1 new cases per day per 100,000 residents - above the state "red" threshold of 8 - and a citywide test positivity rate of 4.1%. On Wednesday, Mayor Walsh announced a one-week delay in the expanded re-opening of Boston public schools because of the numbers.

Nicholas Bauer, a cellular and computational biologist at Mass. General and Harvard Medical School who has been following the statistics, reports that 4.1% is also the percentage of Boston hospital visits tied to Covid-19, the same number the city saw in early March - when the pandemic was starting to surge here.

One statistic that has not changed much is daily deaths from Covid-19. The state reported 12 today - which is in line with the daily death tallies over the past month.

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These numbers state should walk back how many people are allowed in doors for dining. I am not saying that the recent relaxing of indoor dining restrictions caused this spike that happens just after schools and colleges reopened, but expanded indoor dining during colder weather is certainly not going to help slow or abate this new uptick.

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I wouldn't argue with that, but irrespectively, people aren't taking this as seriously as they did months ago. A lot of people think COVID isn't that bad and treatments are good enough that only those with serious preexisting conditions need to worry.

So the state should take a page from the anti-smoking campaign and publicize the risks people personally face from getting the virus. Run campaigns with testimonials from people who still haven't recovered months later. Put doctors on TV explaining the risk to young and healthy people.

You can only force people to do something for so long. After a while the only way to make people act responsibility is to hammer home the risk or reward the personally face. The, "you could infect your grandparents" warnings only go so far.

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Totally agree people think it nothing or a political disease. People we need to use common sense and if your sick stay the F*** home!! Kids in school not too sure if that good idea yet.

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The disconnect between the urgency of this health issue and the lack of ads highlighting the issue is incredible. I listen to Irish radio, and they are constantly running spots reminding people of what needs to be done to keep COVID in check. Of course, their numbers, like in several countries in Europe, makes the US look good.

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Voting closed 37

Other than getting 'the gist' of what Baker says weekly (where we are in openings and such). I've learned to ignore our gov't and just look at other sources for COVID related information. The WHO is putting out some good stuff, as universities and leading medical institutions.

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Sorry, but they have been leading from the rear. I have very little confidence in their ability to provide information on the pandemic.

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And the trump administration is doing such a fine job too. :-)

My point is anywhere except the CDC. Sad to say, recent events have made me not to trust anything they say anymore. Its sad.

Example: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/09/health/coronavirus-covid-masks-cdc.html

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That was months before the WHO decided that masks could help control the spread.

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Catch up, Waquoit. It's October, not February.

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I agree with Waquoit. WHO has been nearly useless. Not that Trump would have listened, but they lost all credibility with their stupid "fomite" obsession and denial of covid being airborne when it was so fracking obviously airborne from the get go.

Euros mostly do a good job of public health but some get pretty stubborn about clinging to mantras and hypotheses amok actual evidence to the contrary. Gone a couple of rounds with them over some of their other sacred cows of air pollution, too.

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Do you know if anyone has actually been researching fomites and COVID-19? When I was trying to make my decision of whether to stop worrying about fomites, I tried to find papers, articles, *anything* on the topic and came up empty-handed.

I don't think they've found any superspreader events attributable to fomites, but I find no reason to believe that "regular" spread would have to proceed the same way. I know other countries are doing some great contact tracing, but I don't know where to look for information on what they're finding about plausible transmission pathways, or if they're even analyzing and aggregating that. (If you only do tracing of respiratory interactions, you might never find fomite transmission.)

Basically, I can't tell whether "no news is good news" or if they're just not finding it because they're not looking for it.

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Sorry, couldn't resist.

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I have no choice but to ride the Orange Line every day, morning and evening, from Forest Hills to North Station, to get my dwindling paycheck and do my job to survive and keep a roof over my head.. Nothing is enforced. Seats are filthy and most riders wear masks over chin. North Station platforms seem to appear they are reinstalling new floor. Only to be trashed again. Come on people. Don't let riding the trains make you be open to infecting you and your kids with this killer virus. Anyone without a mask and stinking like it's kicking like Van Dam needs to get off the fuckin train!

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I also have no choice and must ride the Blue Line to and from work. The evening rush hour is still overly crowded to standing room only on the trains and over 50% of the people don't have masks covering their nose. Do they honestly not know? They seem to think if a mask is simply touching their face someplace they are OK. How can SO many people be so uninformed or simply uncaring? I've yet to hear a PSA that informs people how to wear a mask correctly. And there are still many people on the T removing masks to eat and drink. Anyone eating or drinking on the T at this point is beyond contempt.

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I agree with others. The last 3 Saturdays I rode the organge line from Forest Hills to Back Bay in the morning. There is no way they're cleaning for covid. There's food wrappers, soda bottles and this week, ratty clothes. How can this happen every Saturday? They are not checking the trains. ORANGE LINE TRAINS ARE DIRTY! IT LOOKS LIKE PEOPLE ARE SLEEPING ON THEM.

BTW wearing a mask around your neck is useless!

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With over 130,000 infected we ought to have hard numbers saying what sort of risk restaurant dining poses right now. What is the point of the hundreds of contact tracers if not to gather this type of data?

Maybe indoor dining is a high risk; I haven’t eaten in a restaurant since February. But I’m also not ready to sacrifice the industry on the altar of guesswork. That made sense in March and April when we were dealing with something truly novel but we’re starting to know more.

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Maybe indoor dining is a high risk; I haven’t eaten in a restaurant since February. But I’m also not ready to sacrifice the industry on the altar of guesswork. That made sense in March and April when we were dealing with something truly novel but we’re starting to know more.

I work from home four days per week and in the office once per week, and after I leave the office, I go to a place and have dinner there. While most of the business is takeout, everything is arranged for health protocols so if you choose to eat there, you can. I make it a point to eat there to support the local restaurant.

I agree with you that now that we know more about the virus (and it's still unpredictable on who and how it hits), people are weighing the risks and deciding for themselves whether it's safe or not to eat indoors, rather than having their state and local governments decide for them.

I'd say there are five different schools of thought about restaurants...

- "I feel comfortable eating indoors regardless of health protocols; it doesn't bother me one whit."
- "If there are health protocols in place people are not bothered dining, I'll eat there."
- "I'll go to a restaurant only if there's outdoor dining."
- "I don't feel safe eating indoors or outdoors, but I'll keep ordering out to support the business."
- "Absolutely no way I'd dine in a restaurant until I'm convinced the virus is gone."

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This:

"I don't feel safe eating indoors, but I'll keep ordering out to support the business."

is something I can go along with. I've ordered out, and that supports the restaurant businesses.

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...not just for the sake of safety, but for convenience. Paying the delivery fee and a tip is a small cost for avoiding tests, hospitalizations, quarantining, etc. and you know the money goes to the restaurant.

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Is there evidence for how these cases are occurring? If so, that should guide the policy. Maybe restaurants are the problem, or maybe it’s something else.

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Yes, but with thousands of students arriving over the past month, the number of people in Massachusetts NOT hospitalized with COVID has surely gone up by considerably more than 160.

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That's a strange line of thinking.

The number of Americans who haven't died of Covid is at an all time high -- higher than April, March, higher than December 2019.

That doesn't mean the problem isn't getting worse at the moment...

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The number of college students is about 1/2 from a normal year if you include the Cambridge schools. And in March, many students didn't leave, such as those living off campus.

The change in population is going to be minor enough to not change the significance of the increased hospitalization rate.

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