Cancellations due to COVID making a late summer comeback

A Steamship Authority ferry had to be taken out of service after an employee tested positive, and Yo-Yo Ma's positive test will keep him out of several upcoming performances at Tanglewood

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Cancellations due to COVID-19 are making a late summer comeback. As experts see a slight uptick in cases, it is starting to impact some plans. 

The Steamship Authority had to take a ferry out of service Thursday after an employee tested positive for the virus. A spokesperson said it was not an outbreak, but the employee was so essential, they could not run the M/V Governor ferry in their absence. 



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“It’s actually surprising because you start to let your guard down. I wouldn’t expect that would affect our trip,” ferry customer Michael Maloney said. 

Impacted customers were lining up at the terminal Thursday, hoping room would open up on other ferries, but August is one of the busiest months for ferry reservations. 

“They put us in standby so we don’t know when we’ll get there and they don’t know,” customer David Hambone said. 

Late Thursday, the Steamship Authority announced that it would be unable to staff the ferry on Friday morning as well.

The virus is causing cancellations beyond the Steamship Authority. Famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma has COVID-19 and won't take part in several upcoming performances at Tanglewood, the Boston Sympony Orchestra announced Thursday morning.

Ma was due to hold a workshop at 2 p.m. Thursday, but it was canceled over the musician's diagnosis. He won't peform in the Boston Symphony Orchestra's concert Sunday afternoon or the open rehearsal the day before.

Soprano Renée Fleming has been tapped to fill in, singing Richard Strauss songs in place of Ma's Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 1. performance.

COVID-19 levels have been ticking up in Massachusetts over the last several weeks, with the amount detected in wastewater higher than it's been since late March.

“The virus was never completely gone,” said Dr. Daniel Kuritzkes, the chief of infectious disease at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

He said the new variant is driving a slight spike, but there’s no reason to be alarmed. Experts contribute roughly 17% of new COVID cases to the variant known as Eris.

“The question is whether it is going to get bigger or how much bigger it is going to get. We will only know when we have additional information,” Kuritzkes said.  

Instead of going out to get another booster shot right now, Kuritzkes recommends waiting until the new one comes out in the fall, which should protect against additional variants.

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