Covid Levels In Boston Wastewater Surge Over the Holidays

Well folks, as we waltz our way through the ongoing COVID-19 saga, it seems like the virus just can’t resist making a comeback – talk about a persistent party crasher.

Picture this:

Boston-area wastewater levels, the unsung heroes of pandemic data, hit their highest notes since December 2021.

Yes, you heard it right, the virus is making a splash in our sewage system.

Who knew that even our pipes have COVID-19 stories to tell?

The seven-day average of COVID-19 RNA copies per milliliter of wastewater is strutting its stuff at 2,743 in the northern parts of Boston and 2,583 in the southern parts. That’s according to the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, t

It’s like the virus decided to throw a northern and southern block party in our drains, uninvited, of course.

It’s a bit of a bummer considering that for most of summer 2023, our wastewater levels were the equivalent of a social distancing enthusiast – rarely exceeding 500 copies/mL and often lounging below the cool 300 copies/mL mark.

But hold onto your face masks, because here’s the silver lining – the good news! We’re still rocking levels that are way below the COVID-19 heyday of late 2021 and early 2022. It’s like the virus is trying to be a retro trend, but we’re just not buying it.

Now, before you start turning your basement into a hazmat zone, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention want you to know that the wastewater metric is like our pandemic fortune teller. It spills the beans on changes in total COVID-19 infections in the community.

Experts are waving their vaccination banners, reminding us that getting jabbed should be a priority. As of September 12, the CDC is recommending everyone from six months and older to get an updated COVID-19 vaccine.

Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are at the vaccine party, ready to keep us boogieing through the winter without missing a beat.

Stay vaccinated and let’s keep these wastewater numbers in check, shall we?

Here are five ways you can avoid getting infected.

  • Masking and Social Distancing

    The fundamentals of pandemic precautions still hold value. Wearing masks and practicing social distancing help mitigate the spread of the virus, especially in crowded or enclosed spaces. Adhering to these simple yet effective measures can significantly reduce the risk of both contracting and transmitting the virus.


    A used medical facemask hangs on a wood lecture chair in the empty classroom during the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Hand Hygiene

    Regular handwashing with soap and water or using hand sanitizer is a fundamental practice that can prevent the transmission of the virus. Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth, as the virus can enter the body through these points.


    Toddlers wash their hands in a washstand in kindergarten. Concept of hygiene, professional childcare.

  • Stay Informed and Adaptable

    Stay updated on the latest guidelines and recommendations from health authorities. Given the virus’s ability to mutate, it’s crucial to remain adaptable and modify your behavior accordingly. Be cautious in areas with a high prevalence of cases and be mindful of potential exposure risks.

  • Prioritize Ventilation

    Proper ventilation can significantly reduce the concentration of viral particles in indoor spaces. Open windows, use air purifiers, and maximize outdoor activities when possible. Good ventilation is an additional layer of defense against the virus, especially as winter forces people indoors.


    Woman with face mask in her home during stay at home order. Cleaning, and longing to get outside. COVID-19. March 2020

  • Vaccination

    The most potent weapon against the virus is vaccination. With the development and distribution of vaccines, communities have witnessed a decline in severe cases and hospitalizations. Keep yourself updated on booster shots and ensure you and your loved ones are fully vaccinated. This not only protects you but also contributes to the broader community immunity.


    Little asian girl with bandage plaster on her arm after Covid-19 vaccination. Injection covid vaccine, healthcare for children

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