Boston officials report small increases in COVID-19 cases; urge booster shots

Boston is seeing small increases in COVID-19 transmission and hospitalizations, officials said Friday, urging residents to get the new Omicron-specific booster shot as the virus hits residents more than two and a half years after the outbreak. pandemic continues to make sick.

According to a weekly update from the Boston Public Health Commission, new cases have increased by 8.5 percent in the past week and 37.7 percent in the past 14 days, numbers that don’t include home or rapid testing.

According to the update, there have been 155 new COVID-related hospitalizations in the past week, an increase of 7.6 over that period and a 24 percent increase in the past two weeks.

COVID-19 levels are stable in local wastewater, after falling 2.8 percent in the past week, but are up 24.3 percent in the past 14 days and contain 614 copies of RNA at last count. the virus per milliliter, officials said.

“The increases in our statistics across the board are a reminder that COVID-19 is still spreading through our communities and that people can still get very sick from this virus,” Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, the city’s public health commissioner and executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission, said in the update.

“I advise all residents to take necessary precautions to stay safe by getting vaccinated or boosted now,” Ojikutu continued. “Don’t wait for the number of cases to increase further or when you plan to spend more time indoors with family to keep up to date with your vaccines.”

The public health committee said anyone eligible should receive the new Omicron-specific vaccine booster as soon as possible, adding that the booster boosts immunity against both the original virus strain and newer variants. This booster is available for persons aged 12 years and older who have completed their primary vaccination course at least two months earlier.

More than 78 percent of Boston residents are fully vaccinated, and 46.6 percent of the city’s children ages 5 to 11 have been vaccinated, officials said. Of Boston’s children aged 6 months to 4 years, 11 percent have been vaccinated, officials said.

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