“This is a trend we’re worried about,” said Dr. Nahid R. Badelia, medical director of the Special Unit for Pathogens at Boston Medical Center, about the growing number of cases.
Bhadelia said the rise in infections was likely caused by a combination of factors, including the gradual opening up of the state, the return of students to some colleges, the cool weather driving people inside, and the pandemic fatigue of months of casualties.
“These numbers signal that we need to consider whether we need to return some parts of the opening, including things like dinner indoors and other aspects that we know carry greater risks,”
Boston is one of 77 cities and towns identified as high-risk in this week’s data, meaning they have had more than eight cases per 100,000 residents in the past 14 days, the Department of Public Health said. In last week’s report, there were 63 communities in the common area, including Boston, up from 40 the previous week. The average for the country also remained in the red zone.
The average daily infection rate in Boston per 100,000 residents was 12.0 from 11.1 last week, the agency said. The average daily interest rate for the country was 9.2, compared to 8.7 last week.
The remaining 76 communities considered high-risk included 13 that were identified as high-risk for three consecutive weeks: Acushnet, Brockton, Chelmsford, Holyoke, Hudson, Kingston, Leicester, Malden, Plymouth, Randolph, Waltham, Webster and Woburn.
From Monday, the 13 communities must return to a step in the state’s rebuilding plan, which means that indoor spaces such as slides and trampoline parks must be closed and gyms and libraries must reduce capacity from 50 to 40 percent, according to state health officials, outdoor collection should also be limited to 50 people.
The Ministry of Public Health on Thursday night ordered the closed ice rinks in Massachusetts to be closed for two weeks after the increase in cases of COVID-19 related to hockey practices and games, officials said.
The closure order, which runs from 5pm on Friday to November 7th, does not include college and professional hockey programs, the ministry said in a statement.
So far, the community with the highest daily average is Middleton, with 61.6 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, according to the state. In early September, an outbreak at the Middleton Prison and Correctional Facility infected at least 137 inmates, but only 15 remained ill last week, according to the Essex County Sheriff’s Office.
The second highest is Lawrence, with an average of 45.9 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to 41.9% in the previous week. Lawrence was one of the worst affected communities during the pandemic, and earlier this month, Mayor Daniel Rivera unveiled a new mobile health unit that offers free testing for the virus. Rivera then asked residents not to party, not to travel without quarantine, or to be tested and wear face masks.
Badelia said she was worried about the situation across the country, especially in the northeast, which will be one of the first regions affected by the autumn cold and flu season.
“The trend is worrying. I hope it does not continue on this path, “she said. “Our hospitalizations have risen, but New York has already seen deaths increase – and we always seem to be a week or two behind New York. . . . This is the time to act decisively, because we must not wait until we reach a point where we have only final elections. “
In another alarming sign, tests of wastewater at the Massachusetts plant for water resources on Deere Island have found growing traces of the virus. The pilot program should be an early warning system for possible new jumps.
The trend lines for both the northern and southern sections of the MWRA system took a sharp turn upwards compared to the tests taken on Monday.
“It is strongly expected to increase significantly across the region, to the north and south. I would warn against interpreting it, as I would prevent the interpretation of a decline in the next sample as a reason for granting. However, it suggests that transmission is increasing at a rate not seen since the spring, “said William Hanaj, an epidemiologist at the Harvard School of Public Health in Chan.
Hanaj noted the state’s move earlier this month to allow lower-risk communities to move to the second step of Phase 3 of the recovery plan.
“If the cases increase, we know that providing more opportunities to transmit the virus will make things worse, faster. We also know that people who will be in the hospital (or worse) in a few weeks don’t know that “They’re still infected. It’s time to start talking about the most effective ways to slow this down,” he said in an email.
Boston leaders announced Wednesday that the school district will return to distance learning, affecting about 2,600 high-income students who have been attending part-time school since earlier this month. Students with high needs include those with severe disabilities, English learners and those facing homelessness.
The news came when the Boston’s rate of positivity, another key indicator seen by health professionals, jumped to 5.7 percent for the week ending Oct. 17, from 4.4 percent the previous week.
On Thursday, Baker would not explicitly say he disagreed with the Boston school staff’s decision to return to distance learning, but stressed that areas in the state do not see the virus spreading to school buildings.
“One of the things we tried to do during this pandemic was to learn from the real experience and research of others, and the real life experience and research about schools right now is striking that schools are not disseminators, that “Children in schools are not COVID distributors,” Baker said.
The increases in Massachusetts come as the nation as a whole enters a third wave, and experts issue warnings of even more problems in the fall and winter.
Government officials said in a daily report that 17,966 people had been tested for the virus, resulting in more than 2.58 million. The number of applied tests rose to over 5.44 million. The state also announced that new antibody tests have been completed for 284 people, resulting in a total of 125,118.
The average value for seven days of the positive tests of generally applied tests is 1.4%. The lowest observed figure for this indicator – a number closely monitored by civil servants – is 0.8 percent.
The state also offers on its board a different measure of test positivity: daily positive tests of people tested. That number was 5 percent. Some experts suggest that positive tests on people tested are a better measure of a pandemic.
Meanwhile, the three-day average duration of hospitalized patients with coronavirus increased slightly from 512 to 519. The lowest rate was 302.
The number of hospitals using surge capacity was 4 and the three-day mean mortality from confirmed cases was 16; the lowest that was was nine.
Martin Finucane can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.