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With Covid-19 rates going up again, Boston urges, but doesn't require, a return to masks

The Boston Public Health Commission reported today that the citywide Covid-19 test positivity rate has reached 6.2%, up from just 2.2% in early March.

With a holiday weekend approaching, the commission says resident should strongly consider wearing masks again, get tested before going to social or indoor gatherings, stay home if feeling sick or testing positive, open windows at those gatherings and get a booster if over 50.

The positivity number exceeds one of the city's three threshold statistics for bringing back indoor masking and vaccination-proof requirements.

However, other statistics the city would use to do that remain below city thresholds: The total number of adults in the hospital with Covid-19 is at 70 a day, well below the city threshold of 200, and the number of filled ICU beds at the city's nine acute-care hospitals is at 88.9%, below the threshold of 95% for five days in a row, according to BPHC stats. In past surges, hospitalization numbers generally trailed overall Covid-19 numbers.

The commission says the highest infection rates are among people 20-30 and that seven parts of the city are currently above the 5% positivity threshold:

  • Charlestown 8.2%
  • Allston-Brighton 7.9%
  • Back Bay/Beacon Hill/Downtown/North End/West End 7.6%
  • South Boston 7.0%
  • South End 6.9%
  • Jamaica Plain 6.2%
  • West Roxbury 6.0%

Data from the testing of sewage flowing through the Deer Island treatment plant, which has become a marker of new cases seven to ten days out, has also been showing an increase of viral samples over the past couple of weeks.

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Comments

…it’s that trusting individuals to make the correct and prudent choice pays off. /s

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Voting closed 65

That a lot of very smart people thought we could control a virus and that is so outlandish it’s not even funny.

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Voting closed 62

n/t

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Voting closed 44

Covid vaccine is good for what? 6 months and, so far, not preventative against mutations? For a guy that’s a stickler for details you’re comparing apples to watermelons.

Note - I am in no way saying people shouldn’t get the Covid vaccine and boosters. Just pointing out the above poster’s fallacy.

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Voting closed 45

If 99% of the eligible public had gotten COVID vaccines when they became widely available, the subsequent waves would have been much, much smaller and with far less strain on the healthcare system. This is doubly true with boosters.

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Voting closed 62

Where did the omicron, delta, and now BA.2 variants come from? Hint - it wasn’t the US.

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Voting closed 44

...of non sequiturs.

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I remember “science” saying once a population group got to 80 to 90% vaccine take up, there would be no new infections. Looking at places like New England and Europe, that was a lot less than true.

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You said it was outlandish to think we could control a virus, and I provided an example of us doing just that, over 40 years ago! We're getting pretty damn close on polio, too. We're doing a decent job on many other infectious pathogens, so I entire disagree with your statement that it is "outlandish" to think we can control a virus. It is entirely reasonable and realistic to think that it can be done, because it has been done before.

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That a lot of people saw a deadly disease as a great opportunity to spread lies and distrust, discouraging basic preventative measures like vaccines and masks and causing substantially more deaths than necessary. That’s even less not funny!

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Voting closed 69

Doesn’t make my point less valid though.

Just 2 weeks to ‘flatten the curve’, right?

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Voting closed 42

Doesn’t make my point less valid though.

Your point rests on a false premise.

Just 2 weeks to ‘flatten the curve’, right?

If everyone had done what was requested, yes. By the way, exactly what do you think "flatten the curve" means? What would you expect to be the state of things after that two weeks?

You certainly wouldn't be the only person who let wishful thinking tell you that you'd heard something other than what was said.

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Voting closed 27

You think Covid could be beaten in only two weeks how exactly?

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Voting closed 29

Send the drone police to Beacon hill and every Pol continually busted not listening to their own rules.

“If everyone had just” is as naive as the people who think natural immunity is better than vaccines.

We need to adapt responsibly to this reality. The hardliners and those who threw a generation of students under the bus continue to look worse and worse, almost as bad as the anti-vaxers.

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Voting closed 28

But go ahead, tell me what you think "flatten the curve" means.

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"Just 2 weeks to ‘flatten the curve’, right?"

You are quoting Donald Trump who was attempting to downplay everything. Not one, not one expert said this.

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For the American pastimes of abuse and hatred.

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Voting closed 21

We can't control whether it snows. But what we can control is our preparedness and response and other mitigation efforts to ensure that people are as safe as possible even in the face of extreme weather.

Of course, it helps that we don't seem to have a huge population of people who seem to think that any attempt to e.g. prepare snow plows is "outlandishly trying to control the weather". Or people who are deliberately trying to sabotage snow removal efforts because "well, I've never slipped and fallen so why are we living in fear".

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Voting closed 40

those who, when the actual snowfall turns out different from the prediction, use it as an opportunity to bellow "see, the proof is incontrovertible! The experts are frauds." Or those who insist on understanding severe storm warnings as tantamount to tyranny. Et cetera.

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Voting closed 28

Remember you have to mask up when riding the green and orange line to the Celtics game. Once you get off the train you can take your mask off and sit with thousands of unmasked fans in the Garden. Sounds like a plan doomed to fail.

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it’s almost like the constant effort to appease business interests at the expense of meaningful virus mitigation was *always* a bad idea.

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The failure of political leaders isn't the lack of mandates. It's the inability to convince enough of the public of the benefits of masks, vaccines, boosters, etc.

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It's the inability to convince enough of the public of the benefits of masks, vaccines, boosters, etc.

Please provide an example of a public health measure that succeeded in the absence of a mandate, purely from "the public" being "convinced".

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Basic hand washing? Like with the use of soap and water? Or brushing one's teeth? Both of those are normalized. Maybe I'm missing something but it seems like there are a lot of answers here.

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Cigarette usage dropped voluntarily once the message of them being toxic became widely believed.

The indoor bans and restrictions followed a massive drop-off in consumption, not the other way around.

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There are countless examples where government intervention was needed to increase public safety. Cigarette consumption dropped mostly because of price increase, as well as public health campaigns, all of which came from taxation or legislation via the government.

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6019a5.htm

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Voting closed 29

Also banning them in restaurants and bars, which was a government regulation - once people had to leave their friends to go stand out in the cold to smoke, it lost its glamour quickly.

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Because not everyone on the train is going to a sports game. People who are high risk use the train, use the grocery store, the doctor's office and the pharmacy. If you chose to go to a sporting event, a bar, restaurant, concert etc, you make a risk/reward decision about your own risk and your own health.

It shouldn't be too much of a struggle to get adults to wear a mask for 10 minutes to protect vunerable people in certain spaces, but hey, Americans are nothing if not selfish.

If you chose to go to a sporting event, a bar, restaurant, concert etc, you make a risk/reward decision about your own risk. I'm not sure how this is still hard to understand after two years.

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