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City moves to increase Covid-19 testing; one hospital says nearly 90% of Covid-19 patients in ICU are unvaccinated

Tufts Medical Center Visit - 1-5-22

Mayor Wu said the city installed heating tents outside the Anna Cole Covid-19 testing site in Jackson Square today so that if people continue to have to wait in a long line for a test, at least they don't have to freeze.

But at a press conference after touring the testing site at Tufts Medical Center, Wu said the city is also now planning a "high capacity" testing site for walk-in patients, possibly at the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury, to help alleviate the wait - which has sometimes reached three hours - for testing at Boston's increasingly overburdened existing test sites.

She said the city is now trying to work up an online system to let people know what the wait times might be at specific sites.

Wu added that at Tufts, the "vast majority" of Covid-19 patients at Boston hospitals now are unvaccinated. Dr. Helen Boucher, an infectious-disease specialist at Tufts, said that "almost 90%" of the people in the hospital's ICU with Covid-19 are unvaccinated.

Wu and hospital officials said that one of the issues with having large pockets of unvaccinated patients in hospital beds is that that causes a ripple effect as hospitals are forced to cancel or postpone procedures for patients who need other types of medical care.

Wu said that roughly 650 BPS teachers were out today, both because of Covid-19 and other reasons. But she said that at some schools, up to a quarter of all teachers are out - and that central administrators, including Superintendent Brenda Cassellius, were summoned for teaching duty today.

She said BPS may have to look at "snow day" scenarios at harder hit schools because of the state's continuing "rigidity" in not allowing any remote learning at all.

Wu added she is confident that the majority of city workers who have yet to get shots will do the right thing and get shots by Jan. 15, when the city's new vaccine mandates go into effect. The mandates both require all city workers to get at least their first shot by then and require people to show proof of at least one shot to enter restaurants, museums, arenas, gyms and other public indoor spaces.

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Comments

It can't be that hard to have some Wentworth sophmore build it in a weekend.

The "proof" of vaccination has to be more than a cardboard card that is easy to lose.

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Well... heating tents are not a solution but I guess it's something.

However, just heard from someone that is currently waiting in line at Anna Cole that there are not any heating tents yet

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Do we take some anon's word over the mayor's?

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You don't have to believe me, but there are a lot of news tips nowadays (including to this site) that come from relatively "anonymous" people on Twitter. If I wanted to spread misinformation I don't think that the priority would be around whether the mayor put up heating tents.

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It’s great that the Mayor is providing heat for people in line in Jackson Square. What about the lines at DotHouse Health and I assume other locations?

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They're in the works.

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The state executive branch offices started a hybrid schedule this week, returning to the office part time - surging infection rates be damned.

Maybe Mayor Wu should have a chat with Chicken Charlie about bringing thousands of people back into the office in Boston when there isn't much of a reason for them to be there?

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A vaccine requirement and vaccines work at keeping people out of the ER.

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The reason we took dramatic action in 2020 was to prevent a catastrophic overwhelming of the hospital system. In 2022, the scenario is different: vaccinated adults and children, even if they contract COVID, do not face significant risk of hospitalization.

While there might be other benefits to restricting in-person workplaces & schools with surges of mild-moderate respiratory infections (just like we've had for decades before), there are also harms.

Sure, we have an issue of a percentage minority of dim-witted unvaccinated adults, and even that small percentage might make up enough raw numbers of patients to produce oversized stress on health care: but it's a problem that we have better tools to deal with between better understanding of treatment & therapeutics than we did two years ago. The scenario today doesn't justify pushing the big red button and going back to closing workplaces, then restricting venue sizes, and the whole arsenal of tools that were used two years ago.

Do a lot of issues (health care staffing, hospital bed utilization, how employers deal with seasonal illness and sick time, etc.) just magically go away? Sure not - but they're issues we've dealt with for a long time before COVID too, and there's a lot of harm that's been done from the shut downs and mandates over the last two years, and the scale is tipping where the harms of continuing those practices outweigh the benefits.

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Coulda been HUGE in local government. Across the isle, over the isle…whatever it takes you know? I feel disenfranchised that she choose internet Oracle over public servant.

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Executive branch started hybrid schedules in September.

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I'm assuming they collect a check from the state every week or two, so I'd guess the reason for them to be there is to do their job.

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