WESTFORD — Welcome to the Nov. 27 edition of Weekend Wrap-Up. Here, we highlight the most important news you may have missed this week in Westford.
A new COVID-19 variant, related to the Omicron family, is now the predominant strain in Massachusetts.
Last Thursday, the subvariant BQ.1.1 accounted for 39% of total infections in Massachusetts, according to reporting from the Boston Globe.
BQ.1 and its sibling BQ1.1 accounted for nearly half of cases nationally, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The BA.5 variant, which once accounted for over 80% of cases this summer, makes up a little over a quarter of cases last week.
Both Pfizer and Moderna have stated that their current bivalent boosters do trigger an immune response against the new variants.
The bivalent COVID-19 booster was authorized for children as young as 5-years-old on Oct. 12. It is still unclear as to when updated boosters will become available for younger children.
The body of a Westford hiker who was last seen on Sunday has been found, according to officials.
20-year-old Emily Sotelo planned to hike Mount Lafayette, Mount Haystack and Mount Flume on Sunday. She was dropped off at Lafayette Place Campground at approximately 5 a.m. Sunday morning.
According to officials, the body of Sotelo was found at approximately 11:15 a.m. on the northwest side of Mount Lafayette in Franconia, New Hampshire.
Officials said the search began on Sunday after a family member reported her missing to New Hampshire Fish and Game.
New Hampshire Fish and Game, along with a New Hampshire Army National Guard Blackhawk helicopter and the Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue Team among others participated in the search.
“Searchers were hampered by high winds, cold temperatures and blowing snow,” N.H. Fish and Game wrote on social media.
Officials say the temperature on the ridge was near-zero, with wind chills up to minus-30 degrees on Monday.
From all of us at Westford Community Access Television, we wish you and your loved ones a happy holiday.
We are incredibly thankful for our readers and our community who continue to support us through memberships, donations and readership in our mission to provide free, high-quality local journalism to the Town of Westford.
We look forward to continue to support our creators, schools and officials through our coverage of local board meetings, Westford sports, local events and community-generated content within our studio.
Local journalism is vital to our communities. As other publications shift focus toward regional journalism, WestfordCAT continues to provide high-quality hyperlocal reporting to our town, free for everyone to read. So — we have a small favor to ask. Every contribution, no matter how big or small, helps us sustain our journalism and keep our community informed. Please consider supporting WestfordCAT for as little as $1 on PayPal.