Hospitals see a fourth wave of COVID infections

Coronavirus Local Impact

MASS. (WWLP) – New England continues to lead the country when it comes to vaccination rates but even as the push to get people shots remains high, cases are going up.

Despite having the second highest vaccination rate in the country, Massachusetts is seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases. Data from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health shows an additional 717 confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported Monday. This number includes cases from the prior Friday.

Covid-19 hospitalizations in western Massachusetts remain low, with 7 patients at Baystate Health but the delta variant first identified in India is now estimated to make up 83% of all Covid-19 cases in the U.S. That’s up from 50% on July 3. Health leaders say vaccination is “the most powerful tool” to stop the spread of the coronavirus and its variants.

“This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated. Hospitals are seeing outbreaks of cases in parts of the country that have low vaccination coverage because unvaccinated people are at risk. “

Dr. Rochelle Walensky | CDC Director

A fourth surge comes as new guidance is released for schools supporting in-person learning this fall.
The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommendations everyone older than age 2 wear masks, regardless of vaccination status for the upcoming school year. This is different from CDC guidance, which emphasizes mask wearing only for those who are not fully vaccinated.

“In areas where there are low numbers of vaccinated people or where cases are rising… it’s very reasonable for counties to take mitigation measures like the mask rules.”

Dr. Vivek Murthy | U.S. Surgeon General

Vermont has the highest percentage of its population fully vaccinated against COVID-19, followed by Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

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