‘More Like a Bump Than a Peak': What Increase in COVID Cases Means for Boston Area

With an increase in COVID-19 cases coming as the weather gets warmer in Massachusetts, people are wondering what we can expect this spring and summer

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COVID-19 cases are climbing in Massachusetts, and with the arrival of the warm weather, questions are being raised about what kind of spring and summer we can expect.

"It would be nice to get back to normal, for sure," said one woman walking along Plymouth Harbor.

It's a familiar refrain, with wastewater data in Greater Boston reflecting an increase in the virus. The state is reporting a near 40% jump in cases in the last week alone.

"This is not the rapid rise that we saw with the last peak. This is a much slower rise, it's more like a bump than a peak," said Dr. C. Michael Gibson of the Harvard Medical School.

While hospitalizations and deaths have remained lower, the rate of positive COVID-19 tests in Massachusetts has been increasing, and higher levels of the virus have been present in wastewater.

That bump comes as people look to return to normal this weekend, with events like the Boston Marathon, the Red Sox' home opener at Fenway Park and Easter Sunday.

Some places around the country, like Philadelphia, are looking to reinstitute indoor mask mandates.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu says there are no plans to bring back the requirement right now.

"We're not there yet in terms of the multi-layered metrics that we're watching to move back into a masking mandate," Wu said.

So far, the experts say the latest surge is nothing like the one that resulted from the omicron variant. But they say the situation needs to be monitored.

"The most important thing people can do is, if you're vaccinated, get boosted. If you haven't gotten vaccinated, get vaccinated," said Gov. Charlie Baker.

Hospitalizations remain a key factor in this debate. Those numbers have remained relatively low, but have been creeping upward, with 262 patients in Massachusetts hospitals with COVID as of Tuesday.

Top Boston doctors discuss rising COVID wastewater data and cases in Massachusetts and whether that could lead to the return of a mask mandate on NBC10 Boston’s weekly “COVID Q&A” series.
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