Framingham’s rate of known Covid-19 cases rose to 55.6 per 100,000 population in the most recent 14-day period, according to data released today by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. That’s up from 43.5 last week and 30.2 the week before – an 84% increase in just two weeks.
The reported case rate is roughly the same as in mid-December and early February. But, fewer “official” tests are being sought by Framingham residents now than in December and February than now, in part because some people who were vacation traveling then needed “official” PCR test results.
DPH data does not include most results from at-home antigen tests.
PCR test positivity in the most recent period was 8.55%, well above the WHO’s 5% guideline and the highest since early February. High positivity means more cases are likely being missed.
Today’s data cover the period from May 1 to 14.
“According to DESE, in the past 2 weeks, ~ 3% of kids and 6% of staff in MA got COVID. And that’s an underestimate,” tweeted Jon Levy, professor at Boston University’s School of Public Health. “Along with health risks, massive disruption to education and to lives of working parents. This is not how we prioritize in-person education.”
Few local leaders have been willing to take action to reinstate public masking protections in the absence of state and federal leadership. Wayland recently announced a return to masking requirements in public schools, though, as known Covid levels in that town rose to 90.8 per 100K on 11.2% positivity.
The Massachusetts Coalition for Health Equity urged Gov. Baker and other state officials to re-institute mask requirements in public schools and on public transportation while community transmission rates are so high. The group includes healthcare workers and public health advocates.
While much government and media attention is focused on the risk of hospitalization and death from Covid-19, a study released yesterday found that more than three-quarters of “long Covid” sufferers were never hospitalized for their illness. The statistic comes from an analysis of private insurance claims among more than 78,000 people diagnosed with long-term post-Covid health issues and reported in the New York Times.
The data are among the latest reminders that so-called “mild” Covid can have serious consequences. The US GAO estimates that more than 7.7 million Americans are suffering from long Covid, with the possibility that’s as hgh as 23 million, according to that NY Times report.
Last week, a member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, Michael Saunders, said “long-term sickness reflecting side effects of the pandemic, for example Long Covid and the rise in waiting lists [to get medical care due to stress on their National Health Service]” was chiefly responsible for the UK’s workforce shrinking 1.3%.
Framingham Vaccination Rates
Vaccination Rates by MA Community
Covid-19 Known New Infections Prior 14 Days by Community
MWRA Wastewater Samples
“Our national #COVID19 #wastewater concentration rose significantly (up 50%) from May 4 - 11, indicating we are in a new wave,” tweeted Biobot Analytics, the company that analyzes MWRA samples for Covid traces. “Regional trends vary—the Northeast remains highest & rose the most.”