Massachusetts has recorded the highest rate of new COVID-19 cases since February, with some public health specialists despite Governor Charlie Baker encouraging families to “enjoy Thanksgiving.” It raises concerns about the impact of holiday gatherings among the homes.
Nearly 85% of Massachusetts’ population is at least partially vaccinated against the virus, and Massachusetts is approaching the season in a very different place than it was a year ago, when the country’s vaccination had not yet begun.
However, despite that progress, some worrisome indicators have been developed in the last few weeks, encouraging families to alert professionals when planning festive meals and gift exchanges.
Dr. Regina Lalock, a faculty member in the infectious disease department at Massachusetts General Hospital, said Monday that the state showed “some early signs of changes in the number of cases.”
“Our hospitals are expanding, our hospitals are expanding, our capabilities are expanding, and we think our medical system is vulnerable,” Lalock, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, told the news service. Said. “More cases mean more expansion of the system, so I really want people to hear the message that they should enjoy their vacation, but stay alert. Please give me.”
The Public Health Service on Monday reported 6,801 new confirmed cases on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The Massachusetts hospital currently has 708 COVID-19 patients, with an average hospital stay of 646.8 over the last 7 days, up from 84.8 on July 9.
Data tracked by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the number of new cases in Bay is at its highest level in about nine months. According to the CDC, the average number of cases on Sunday in Massachusetts was 2,493, the highest since February 11.
Baker made a cautious optimistic tone on Monday, and he and Vice Governor Karyn Polito toured two small businesses in Needham to promote local shopping.
Baker noted that more than 5 million baystaters have been vaccinated with COVID-19, at least partially, and residents “should enjoy Thanksgiving.”
“People have been vaccinated here in Massachusetts and have worked really hard over the past year to help the economy resume and be in a position to hold regular Thanksgiving,” he said. I did. “Soccer games are played on Thanksgiving morning. People like me are a little unhappy because the league rankings are no longer relevant, but the bottom line is a great opportunity to return to what I explain. As if it feels like a traditional holiday. “
LaRocque agreed that residents should enjoy the season and said that as people plan, it is necessary to note that the ripples in the state’s COVID-19 outlook are widening. In addition to being vaccinated, LaRocque said “wise steps” to make the event as safe as possible, such as limiting the size of meetings and testing for COVID-19. Said that you can take.
One of her biggest concerns, she said, is the state of the European pandemic, where some countries with high vaccination rates are tackling strong outbreaks.
“Vaccination alone is not enough to prevent the COVID surge in Massachusetts,” La Rocque said.
A more regular holiday is the departure from 2020, and Baker urged the public to limit Thanksgiving and winter holiday celebrations to their own households if possible.
Last year’s Thanksgiving coincided with a massive surge in COVID-19 infections. On November 25, 2020, the day before Thanksgiving, Massachusetts had an average of 2,732 new cases per day in the past week, according to DPH data. That rate more than doubled the following week, reaching its peak winter on January 8th at 6,229.
At that time, none of the 7 million residents of Bay was vaccinated against COVID-19.
Steve Walsh, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Massachusetts Health Hospital Association, said: “This Thanksgiving is the best way for individuals to thank our health care community to follow public health guidance. Get vaccinated, get a booster if eligible, and get vaccinated. Follow the CDC guidelines for unreceived infants and other families. “
“Our healthcare leaders are on a 24-hour basis to track public health trends and will continue to coordinate operations based on scenarios in the coming weeks,” Walsh added.
Local health agencies are increasing their messages to draw attention in the face of an increasing number of incidents. On Monday, the Boston Public Health Commission will list recommendations for the holiday season, including continuing to wear masks indoors, limiting the size of meetings, and being tested for COVID-19 when symptoms occur. Has been released.
Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, Managing Director of BPHC, said: “But be safe. Vaccinations are very effective in reducing the risk of serious illness, hospitalization and death. Can be taken to protect yourself and your family and friends during the holidays. This is the most important step. “
At Acton, Monday officials also called for “continuous vigilance” over the coming weeks. They continued to wear masks in public places indoors for fully unvaccinated residents, and masks indoors if fully vaccinated people were in areas with significant or high infection rates. Suggested to wear.
Acton currently records 54 active COVID-19 cases, the highest number since January, officials said.
“Unfortunately, there are many groundbreaking cases of COVID-19,” said Heather York, Acton’s director of nursing services, in a statement. “The town encourages anyone showing symptoms of the disease to look for a PCR COVID-19 test and follow the holiday guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before returning to normal activity.”
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