May 11, 2023 COVID-19 Updates – FINAL UPDATE
Questions? Board of Health (508) 862-4644 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Today, May 11 2023, marks the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency in Massachusetts and nationwide. Also last Friday, the World Health Organization declared the virus is no longer a public health threat. The end of the emergency phase of COVID-19 does not mean the battle is over; but it does mean the State is moving from crisis mode to management mode.
This pivot is partly the result of lower reported testing rates as more people turn to at-home rapid tests, and fewer hospitalizations as greater vaccine coverage has led to fewer severe cases. First the first time since 2020, there are hospitals in Massachusetts that have zero COVID-19 patients After three years, we have more tools to manage the virus including at-home tests, therapeutics, and vaccines.
What changes will occur beginning today?
- Masks will no longer be mandated at health care facilities;
- Vaccine mandates ends for state employees;
- Extra federal funding to states for expanded Medicaid will end;
- Vaccines will remain available, but will transition to a fully commercial product covered by health insurance;
- COVID data tracking will be scaled back.
Community Level Designation
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to classify Barnstable County as being at a low COVID-19 community level. Community levels can be low, medium, or high and are determined by looking at hospital admissions and the total number of COVID-19 cases in an area.
Reported Case Counts and Deaths
Town of Barnstable: 12,823 total positive residents cumulatively to date, 25 new cases during the last two weeks (LOWER). Average daily incidence rate 3.7 per 100,000 (LOWER); positivity rate 3.6% (LOWER).
Barnstable County: 50,270 cases, 126 new cases in the last two weeks; 800 deaths cumulatively.
Massachusetts: 2,037,701 cases cumulatively to date, 22,602 deaths cumulatively, 2 new confirmed deaths in the past seven days. The average age of death during the past week was 82 years old.
Local Average Daily Incidence Rate
As of Friday May 5th, the fourteen day average daily incidence rate of Town of Barnstable residents was at its lowest in more than eighteen months, at 1.8 new cases per day (see right side of graph below).
Cape Cod Healthcare reported there were a total of eight (8) patients being treated for COVID-19 at Cape Cod and Falmouth hospitals on May 9, 2023. One (1) of the eight patients was in intensive care.
In the United States overall, the number of new positive COVID-19 cases decreased by 14.43% compared to the previous week. Hospitalizations decreased by 5.5% compared to the previous week. COVID-19 deaths in the United States increased by 5.73% compared to the previous week according to data provided by the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as depicted in the chart below.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there were nearly 2.8 million new cases and 17,000 deaths reported during last 28 days (April 3rd through April 30th, 2023), a decrease of 17% and 30% respectively compared to the previous 28 days.
The following prevention steps are recommended by the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at all community levels:
- Stay up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccinations
- Maintain ventilation improvements.
- Avoid contact with people who have suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
- Follow recommendations for isolation if you have suspected or confirmed COVID-19 (stay at home for five days, do not travel, wear a mask, etc).
- If you are at high risk of getting very sick, talk with a healthcare provider about additional prevention actions.
Thomas McKean, RS, CHO, Director of Public Health
TOWN OF BARNSTABLE