Omicron variant

Omicron Variant Now Predominant

The Omicron variant is now predominant in Massachusetts and has managed to outcompete the Delta variant due to its very high transmissibility and its ability to evade the immune response given by vaccination and prior infection. COVID-19 case numbers are as high as they have ever been throughout the pandemic. But there is some good news. Basic science research suggests that there is reason to believe that the Omicron variant is less capable of infecting lung cells and thus causing severe disease. Data from several countries shows the case-to-hospitalization rate is lower with Omicron than it was with Delta (meaning people are less likely to be hospitalized).

New CDC Recommendations for Isolation and Quarantine

CDC has substantially changed the recommendations for Isolation (symptomatic illness or positive test) and Quarantine (COVID-19 exposure) for the general public. Massachusetts has adopted this new guidance from the CDC. Learn more.

Two Antiviral Pills Authorized

Two at-home pill treatments for COVID-19 have been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration for patients who test positive for the coronavirus. An antiviral pill treatment from Pfizer was authorized on Wednesday, December 22, and another from Merck was approved on Thursday, December 23. Stay tuned for more information on treatment availability.

Yes, You Should Get the Booster Shot Now

Vaccination and booster shots continue to be the best way to combat the Omicron spread and to protect you and your loved ones. Data suggest that if the fully vaccinated (including boosted) become infected with Omicron, they tend to experience mild symptoms.