January 06, 2023

Middlesex County Moves into High COVID-19 Community Level

Masking and Other Extra Precautions Strongly Recommended

As of January 5, 2023, the CDC reports that Middlesex County has entered the High COVID-19 Community Level. Community Levels are determined by a combination of reported COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations due to COVID-19. When the COVID-19 Community Level is high, the CDC recommends the following:

  • Wear a high-quality mask (e.g., N95, KF94, KN95) when indoors in public.
  • If you are at high risk of getting very sick, consider avoiding non-essential indoor activities in public where you could be exposed.
  • If you have household or social contact with someone at high risk for getting very sick, consider testing before contact and wearing a high-quality mask when indoors with them.

COVID-19 viral levels in Greater Boston wastewater have increased sharply in the past two weeks and are now at their highest point since January 2022. An increase in viral particles in wastewater is often an early indicator of new infections in the community.

High rates of respiratory illnesses– COVID-19, flu and RSV– are putting added strain on area hospitals. By wearing masks and taking precautions to protect one another, residents can help reduce the impact on the healthcare system. 

Beyond masking and observing extra precautions for high-risk individuals, residents can take a number of steps to protect themselves and help prevent the spread of illness: 

  • Stay up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters, including the bivalent booster that became available in September. 
  • Get your flu shot. 
  • Stay home if you are sick. 
  • Test for COVID-19 if you have symptoms or a known exposure.
  • Wash hands frequently, cover coughs, and clean “high touch” surfaces.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, contact your doctor or nurse right away to learn about treatments.
  • If you have COVID-19 and need assistance while isolating at home, call the Cambridge Department of Public Health’s COVID hotline at 617-933-0797.