HomeCOVID-19Westford COVID-19 Update: New Strain Predominant in Massachusetts

Westford COVID-19 Update: New Strain Predominant in Massachusetts

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WESTFORD — Westford’s coronavirus cases have remained steady week over week according to data published by the Department of Public Health on Thursday.

Between Oct. 30 and Nov. 12, 31 positive cases have been reported in Westford. In those two weeks, Westford reported 40 total positive tests, with 7.13% of 519 tests returning positive.

97,925 total tests have been administered in Westford since the pandemic began.

A total of 5,136 total cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Westford as of Nov. 17. The state has reported over 1.92 million total cases of COVID-19, reporting 10,181 cases in the last two weeks. 5.78% of the total 198,674 tests administered, or 11,480 tests, have returned positive.

As of Nov. 15, 88 of the 96 intensive care unit beds remain occupied in Northeastern Massachusetts, while 936 of the 949 medical and surgical beds remain occupied in the region.

As of Nov. 17, Middlesex County has reported 2,242 positive cases in the last two week period between Oct. 30 and Nov. 12. 5.48%, or 2,516 of 45,952 total tests returned positive in the county.

In the last two weeks, Middlesex County has reported 31 confirmed and probable deaths, while the state has reported 174 confirmed and probable deaths.

New strain becomes predominant strain in Massachusetts 

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.

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Ben Domaingue
Ben Domainguehttps://www.clippings.me/bendomaingue
Ben Domaingue has previously worked at newspapers in New Hampshire and is the Managing Editor covering Westford. He’s passionate about community journalism, photography and hiking. Email him at bdomaingue@westfordcat.org.