While Boston’s COVID-19 numbers are declining, public urged to continue taking precautions

BOSTON — The number of COVID cases in Boston and new hospitalizations for the virus have declined since last week, but Boston public health officials say people should still take precautionary measures to stop the virus from spreading.

Daily COVID-19 cases in Boston have decreased by 23% over the past week and by 42% over the last 14 days (as of 1/20/23), the Boston Public Health Commission said in a statement Monday. New COVID-19 hospitalizations are down by 10% and 16% during the same time frames (as of 1/20/23).

In another positive trend, the CDC moved Suffolk County back down to medium community risk last week, after a short period of being at high, the statement said.

Data from health commission’s newly-launched wastewater surveillance program show the number of COVID-19 particles in the city’s wastewater decreased by 52% over the past two weeks and are now at an average of 1,856 COVID RNA copies/mL throughout Boston. Six of the 11 neighborhoods in Boston fall below this average.

“All of our metrics are currently trending in the right direction. But it is important to remain vigilant. Nationally, hundreds of people still die from COVID daily,” said Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, Commissioner of Public Health and Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission. “I encourage everyone to get boosted, test for COVID-19, access treatment if positive, wear masks indoors and stay home if you are sick.”

Boston has also seen fewer cases of influenza, with 79 confirmed cases from Jan. 14-20, down significantly from the peak of 944 cases observed Dec. 3-9, health officials said. But flu season can be bimodal and have two peaks of activity, according to officials, who recommended citizens get an annual flu vaccine for protection.

The Boston Public Health Commission has several free, walk-in standings sites offering COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, testing, flu vaccinations, and rapid at-home testing kits throughout the city. Services are available for everybody ages 6 months and older with no IDs or proof of insurance needed.

And while supplies last, $75 gift cards are available for those who get a COVID-19 vaccine or booster. This incentive is offered in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

The walk-in sites include:

BCYF Hyde Park: 1179 River St., Open Tuesdays 12-8pm and Thursdays 7am-3pm

Boston City Hall: 1 City Hall Sq., Haymarket Room, Open Mondays 7am-1pm and Wednesdays 12-5pm

Bruce C. Bolling Building: 2302 Washington St., Roxbury, Open Tuesdays through Saturdays 12-8pm

Josephine Fiorentino Community Center: 123 Antwerp St., Allston, Open Sundays 12-4pm, Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays 9am-3pm, and Thursdays 5-9pm

Lena Park Community Development Center: 150 American Legion Highway, Dorchester, Open Sundays 10am-2pm, Tuesday and Fridays 9:30-5:30pm, and Wednesdays 11am-7pm

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