Remember when Dr. Wong, director of Public Health, urged state officials to look at communities by neighborhood or Zip code and not take an overall average? That was when Framingham was bypassed for a free Covid-19 testing center while Marlborough got one. At the time, Framingham’s testing positivity rate was below Marlborough’s.
Two weeks ago, Framingham’s test positivity rate – a key indicator of how well communities are controlling virus spread – was 1.9%. Last week, it rose to 2.8%. This week, it ticked up again to 3.1% – significantly higher than the state average of 1.7%. (Marlborough, meanwhile, was at 2.6% this week.)
And while week-to-week fluctuations in test positivity may not be too significant in a city of less than 100,000 people – the smaller the city, the more tests from a single institution can significantly affect results – the trend isn’t great.
Overall case numbers are still extraordinarily better than during the spring Covid-19 case surge. However, the city’s seven-day moving average of confirmed new cases is the highest it’s been since early June.
A look at the graph just since June 1 shows the more recent story:
Hopefully things don’t get too much worse in late summer and autumn, especially as Framingham State reopens and brings in students from areas where the virus isn’t under control.
“Students planning to arrive from these locations may wish to plan arrival to the state early and explore off campus accommodations during the quarantine period,” FSU’s reopening plan tells students from areas that require self-quarantining. Not encouraging, since it seems highly unlikely students will seek out – and pay for – safe off-campus housing for a couple of weeks when they’re supposed to quarantine. Is it likely they won’t go out to see friends, get food, etc. – assuming they come early and attempt to quarantine at all? We’ll see what the autumn brings.
Framingham State currently plans to open as scheduled on Sept. 2.
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