Framingham’s rate of known Covid-19 cases continued its slow decline this week, according to data released today by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
There were an average of 22.8 daily new Covid-19 cases per 100,000 population reported from official PCR tests in the most recent 14-day period, down from 25.6 the week before. However, three months ago at the end of March, known cases were only 9.8 per 100K with many more “official” tests being administered. (There were 24% more tests in the March 31 report.)
A year ago, known cases were less than 1 per 100K in the July 1, 2021 report, although with 19% fewer tests (at that time, fewer people were seeking tests because case transmission rates were so low.)
Test positivity declined from last week, to 5.6% from 6%. Positivity was less than 2% the end of March and less than 1% a year ago.
The data does not include most people who test positive using at-home rapid tests. The actual number of new Covid-19 cases is therefore likely quite a bit higher.
If you are among those who are well aware that the pandemic isn’t over and are still concerned about preventing infection – either because you or someone in your household is at high risk (elderly, medically vulnerable, live with an infant still too young to be vaxxed) or you don’t want to risk long Covid complications – I highly recommend Ed Yong’s “America is Sliding Into the Long Pandemic Defeat”. Yong, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his Covid-19 reporting, starts off: “In 2018, while reporting on pandemic preparedness in the Democratic Republic of Congo, I heard many people joking about the fictional 15th article of the country’s constitution: Débrouillez-vous, or ‘Figure it out yourself.’ It was a droll and weary acknowledgment that the government won’t save you, and you must make do with the resources you’ve got. The United States is now firmly in the débrouillez-vous era of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Indeed we are.
If you want a shorter read, from Bob Wachter, chair of the University of California - San Francisco Department of Medicine: “In the Washington Post, I describe why it’s prudent to remain careful despite the fall in hospitalizations & deaths in recent months,” he tweeted. “It’s all about Long Covid – both prolonged symptoms & the elevated long-term risk of MI, stroke, diabetes, & more.” See How to calculate risk in the era of long Covid.
MWRA South Region Wastewater tests
You can see trends in virus traces found in MWRA South Region wastewater tests below. That data is considered a useful leading indicator of how short-term case trends might go. However, comparing levels for different variant waves may be less useful, since we don’t know if different variants cause different levels of shedding virus.
Black lines indicate margin of error for the samples.
Framingham is one of about 20 communities in the South region.
See latest Covid-19 data coverage at http://www.district2framingham.com/tags/covid19/.
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