Massachusetts Medical Society: Massachusetts Medical Society on taking precautions as COVID-19 numbers increase

Massachusetts Medical Society on taking precautions as COVID-19 numbers increase

Despite the warmer weather and our collective hope for a reprieve of some sort, it is important to acknowledge that COVID-19 is still with us, and we need to continue to utilize the proven public health measures and tools at our disposal to prevent infection and disease spread.

Public health data reveal that positive cases in Massachusetts communities and in our schools have been climbing over recent weeks, fueled by Omicron variant BA.2 and the subvariant BA.2 12.1. It is impossible to predict whether the case numbers will continue to rise, but we know there are measures we can all take to minimize COVID-19’s impact.

We remind everyone who has yet to do so to get vaccinated and boosted. The vaccines remain our best defense against the disease and have consistently proven effective at reducing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death.

We urge those who are at high risk to limit their exposure to others. We know doing so can be a tough decision to make when planning for graduations, parties, vacation, and other seasonal events. We recommend masking for those who gather indoors or in large groups, regardless of individual risk level.

If an individual has been exposed to COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms, it is important to test. A positive test should be reported to your physician or health care provider, so that they can assess whether it is appropriate to begin treatment that includes an FDA-approved therapy, such as the antiviral Paxlovid. To ensure continuum of care, it is critical that patients who use the state’s free telehealth program to access in-home treatment alert their physician or health care provider of the treatment plan.

The physicians of Massachusetts want everyone to have a healthy summer, which means taking those extra steps to protect individual health and the health of others.

-Carole E. Allen, MD, MBA, FAAP, President, Massachusetts Medical Society

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