The city of Framingham had 1,528 known new Covid-19 cases in the last 14 days, according to data released today by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, a daily rate of more than 146 per 100,000 people. The highest previous known rate per 100K I’ve seen was 91 based on city data (I only have state data by community since summer of 2020).
The city is not alone in dealing with a Covid-19 surge this week. In fact, Framingham’s rate is still a bit lower than the state-wide average of 151.7 per 100K.
Number of tests administered to city residents were up 2.4% from last week’s 14-day period. Cases, meanwhile, soared 90% from a week ago.
Reported case rates throughout Massachusetts are likely much lower than the number of actual cases, since PCR tests are difficult to schedule. (That was also the situation during the initial surge in March and April of 2020 when tests were even harder to obtain.) The good news is that thanks to vaccines, a lower percent of those infected are likely to get seriously ill. However, because of the sheer number of cases, hospitals are already being overwhelmed by a small percent of a very large case total.
In addition, some of those who are infected are at risk of so-called long Covid – long-term medical complications such as crushing fatigue and “brain fog” – even some who are vaccinated whose cases don’t require hospitalization. It’s still unclear who is most at risk of long Covid and whether/how much vaccinations help protect against it
Framingham’s test positivity more than doubled to 13.5% this week, the first time since at least summer 2020 that positivity hit double digits. That also is lower than the state-wide average of 15%.
75.2% of city residents are now “fully vaccinated”, defined as two mRNA doses or one J&J. However, an additional “booster” dose is now considered crucial to better fend off the latest Omicron variant. 30.1% of city residents have received the booster, according to Massachusetts DPH data, up from 28.4% last week. Booster data by community has only been available from DPH for the past three weeks.
MWRA Wastewater Tests
MWRA wastewater tests for Covid-19 virus traces continue to rise. Those tests are often a good predictor of future Covid-19 cases since wastewater samples don’t depend on how many tests can be given to individuals or who is able to be tested.
Framingham is one of about 20 communities in the MWRA’s South region. (You can click the legend on the graph below to turn lines off and on.)