To see just how dramatically COVID case numbers have dropped from the peak of the omicron surge here in Massachusetts – all you had to do was stop by the walk-up COVID test site at Worcester’s Mercantile Center Wednesday, where there were no lines.
It was just a few weeks ago that the lines snaked around the corner and down the block.
“The one on the 3rd was so terrible, we were out here for like three hours,” said Michelle Muriuki of Worcester.
"We were here at that time when it went all the way down there, and compared to today – it’s nothing," Worcester resident Winnie Mbugua said.
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In fact, when you look at the seven-day average positivity rate this week compared to two weeks ago, it has dropped almost 50%.
And the seven-day average case count has dropped more than 60% in the same time frame.
The state Department of Public Health provides the data in the COVID-19 Interactive Data Dashboard.
"We see the spike exactly as predicted, going up very high and then now just really dropping quickly, so I’m hoping that that will continue," said Worcester’s Health and Human Services Commissioner Dr. Mattie Castiel.
But Castiel says we need to keep in mind many people may be testing at home now, and our COVID positivity levels are still quite high.
"We’re not out of the woods, and truly just getting people vaccinated is our main – the main armamentarium that we have to get out of the woods," said Dr. Castiel.
Dr. Robert Klugman with UMass Memorial Medical Center says even though COVID hospitalizations have also started to tick down, they don’t expect to see a sudden drop-off in patients.
"We still have all of our surge spaces open, so we are beyond 100% capacity, our emergency rooms are packed with people coming in with COVID symptoms, and positive COVID, so we are still at full tilt," Klugman said.
Klugman says he’s optimistic that we’ll see things start to normalize at hospitals by late February to early March.