New DPH commissioner talks about recent uptick in Mass. COVID cases

BOSTON — With COVID-19 cases ticking up slightly, the new commissioner of the state Department of Public Health in Massachusetts is urging people to stake steps to protect themselves, while offering some reassurance that this current increase does not mirror what the state saw in January with the omicron variant.

“I know that makes people nervous,” said DPH Commissioner Margret Cooke. “We’ve been through a lot in the last couple of years. The important thing to remember though is we have the tools here in Massachusetts to keep ourselves safe and our loved ones safe from all the current variants of COVID-19.”

“A second booster has now been approved and we now have treatments so that people who are diagnosed or who test positive for COVID-19 can get treatments for their symptoms,” said Cooke in an interview with Gene Lavanchy on Boston 25 Morning News.

“The numbers are ticking up,” said Cooke. “We’re not seeing huge increases now. We were seeing about, back in early March, around 500 and were about 1,400 now. Were not seeing the type of numbers that we saw in January with the omicron surge.”

Cooke also addressed the uptick in cases being recorded in local wastewater samples.

“The numbers, again, are going slightly up in wastewater just like we are seeing in case numbers, so we are keeping an eye on that,” said Cooke.

“What people really need to remember is that they need to protect themselves by getting vaccinated and receiving their booster shot. The booster shot, we know, provides so much more protection than just the vaccine alone,” said Cooke.

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