With delta breakthrough cases on the rise, the state today released updated Covid-19 guidance that calls for anybody who might be at high risk for complication - or who lives or works with somebody who is - to start wearing masks in stores and other indoor places again. Read more.
Covid-19 levels in the sewage from the southern half of the MWRA system. Source.
Today's the day the State of Emergency is officially over, although you might still have to wear a mask in certain places, like hospitals. So go out and celebrate. But maybe first pause for a moment in memory of the more than 17,000 Massachusetts residents who died.
NPR reports doctors are looking at why and have several possible explanations: Less exposure to other infectious diseases - due to isolation and better hygiene - better adherence to medical advice on inhalers and less air pollution.
Thrice-weekly samples taken at the MWRA's Deer Island sewage-treatment plant are showing a spike in Covid-19 RNA, which follows increases in Covid-19 rates in Massachusetts and Boston and could signal further increases as the people excreting the RNA spread their virus to people they come into contact with. Read more.
Researchers at MIT, Harvard and Mass. General report progress in developing a "universal" flu vaccine that would work by getting the body to recognize a flu protein that rarely mutates but which the human immune system normally does not recognize. Read more.
The state Department of Public Health has added Pennsylvania, Delaware, Colorado and West Virginia to the list of states from which people - including returning Bay Staters - no longer have to quarantine for 14 days or show proof of a recent negative Covid-19 test when they arrive here, because they all now have positive Covid-19 test rates under 5% and low total daily numbers.
They join all of New England - except for Rhode Island - New York and New Jersey.
The state Department of Public Health announced today that it is now requiring all students and participants in pre-K programs to get a flu shot by Dec. 31 - as part of an effort to reduce "flu-related illness and the overall impact of respiratory illness during the COVID-19 pandemic." Read more.
Dr. Jeremy Faust, an emergency-room physician at Brigham and Women's with a penchant for health policy, reported yesterday that state stats show that for the third week in a row, Boston has not had any of the "excess" deaths that started climbing as Covid-19 erupted here earlier this year. Read more.
Mayor Walsh today declared racism a public-health crisis in Boston and announced he is shifting $3 million from the Boston Police overtime fund to public-health efforts - and that he will also the City Council to approve another $9 million shift from police overtime to efforts aimed at ending racial disparities in Boston. Read more.
Staffers at Boston Hope, the 1,000-bed field hospital set up in a week in April to handle a surge of Covid-19 patients, cheered and clapped yesterday as the hospital's last three patients were discharged. Being Boston, of course, they also sang "Sweet Caroline" for one. Read more.
A Boston Public Health Commission report shows higher rates of positive tests for Covid-19 in Hyde Park, Mattapan, parts of Dorchester and East Boston than the rest of the city - with Hyde Park showing the highest rate - one that is more than double that of neighboring West Roxbury. Read more.
Gov. Baker announced today that a non-profit group working with the state is hiring 1,000 "contact tracers" to interview Covid-19 patients and find out all the people they may have come in contact with to follow them and get them testing and care if needed. Read more.
Over the weekend, BPS custodians and Tufts Medical Center staffers converted the Quincy Elementary School cafeteria, just down Washington Sstreet from the hospital, into a clinic for screening people with Covid-19 symptoms. Read more.