12/21/2021 COVID Update
• Across Massachusetts, according to DPH, we are seeing a 7-day average of over 4,100 new COVID-19 cases as of yesterday, compared to a 7-day average of about 1,100 two months ago.
• Hospitalizations for COVID-19 have been increasing since mid-November.
• In Hingham, we are continuing to see a sharp increase in new COVID-19 cases. DPH is reporting 167 new COVID-19 cases during the 14-day period reported on 12/16/2021, compared to 80 cases over the two-week period reported two weeks ago on 12/2/2021.
• In light of these troubling trends, we are asking everyone to continue to take precautions to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Public health protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 include wearing face coverings, practicing social distancing, and frequently washing hands, among other measures.
• Today the Massachusetts Department of Public Health released a review mass.gov/doc/covid-19-cases-among-fully-vaccinated-individuals-in-massachusetts/download of breakthrough COVID-19 cases in vaccinated Massachusetts residents and found nearly 97% of all breakthrough cases in the Commonwealth have not resulted in hospitalization or death.
• Additionally, the review found unvaccinated residents are five times more likely to become infected than fully vaccinated residents (two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or one dose of Johnson & Johnson) and unvaccinated residents are 31 times more likely to become infected than fully vaccinated residents who have received a booster.
• The overall vaccination rate for Hingham is now 80%. If you look at only vaccine-eligible individuals in Hingham (people age 5+), the percent of fully vaccinated eligible residents is 85%.
• According to DPH, approximately 62% of Hingham residents ages 5-11 have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and about 42% of residents ages 5-11 are fully vaccinated at this point.
• The Hingham Health and Fire Departments are working to organize a regional vaccine booster clinic with the Town of Cohasset for Tuesday, January 4th. The clinic will take place at the South Shore Baptist Church in Hingham and will offer Moderna booster shots to residents from Hingham and Cohasset. More details, including on how to register, will be coming shortly.
• We may also potentially hold a mini clinic for Hingham residents only on Tuesday 12/28 from 9am - 12pm with limited booster shots available. The clinic will take place at the South Shore Baptist Church. More details hingham-ma.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1211 and information on how to register can be found on the Town's website at hingham-ma.gov. Registration for this smaller clinic is now open.
• Other local resources include:
o A drive-up vaccine clinic at the Marshfield Fair Grounds on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 9am-4pm. The Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and Pfizer vaccines are all available at the Marshfield clinic. They are encouraging people to make appointments at www.marshfield-ma.gov, but will also offer shots to those without appointments, while supplies last. Those without appointments should arrive before 2pm. They are offering 1st and 2nd vaccine doses and booster shots. The holiday schedule for the Marshfield clinic will be Tuesday/Weds/Thursday during Christmas Week (Dec 21-23) and New Years Week (Dec 28-30) from 9am-4pm.
o CVS and Walgreens locations in Hingham are offering vaccines by appointment only.
• The Town is currently in the planning stages for a local drive-thru testing facility to be held at 335 Lincoln Street. It is possible that this site will be up and running by mid-January as our partner staffs up and procures the necessary supplies. Our local emergency management team is actively working through the logistical details of using this site.
• The Town is also working with the State and private sector to understand how best to make at-home testing kits available to the public. As a we learn more about these options we will report out our plans.
• As a reminder, the State of Massachusetts is offering lab-based PCR home test kits at no cost to eligible Massachusetts adults. Kits are reserved for adults (18+) who live or work in a congregate setting, are experiencing symptoms, have recently been in contact with someone with COVID-19, or who have otherwise been recommended for testing. Please visit the Pixel by LabCorp for Massachusetts webpage for details and to request a test kit.
• CVS locations that are offering COVID-19 testing include the CVS on Commercial Street in Weymouth, CVS on Rockland Street in Hanover, and the CVS on Main Street in South Weymouth. Many Walgreens locations are also offering testing – please check online for appointments.