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COVID-19 Data Center Updates will End on May 11 in Accordance with State and Federal Changes

Thursday, May 11, 2023 marks the expiration of the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) that was first declared at both the state and federal levels in 2020. This signals a number of changes, including changes to COVID-19 data reporting.

The Cambridge COVID-19 Data Center was developed in 2020 to provide real-time, local case data to help community members and the City make decisions in a rapidly-changing situation. Providing transparent data access to the public helped the community assess risk and identify disproportionate impacts of COVID-19. We are grateful to Cambridge residents for engaging with the Data Center, providing feedback, and using it to keep our community safer.

We have come a long way with respect to COVID-19. Residents are much better protected against severe illness from COVID-19 due to high vaccination rates, natural immunity, and treatment advances. Over the past months, we have seen decreasing hospitalization numbers and low levels of COVID-19 RNA signals in local and regional wastewater.

At this time, localized daily case numbers no longer reflect community risk effectively, and the need to report COVID-19 activity with the frequency that was warranted earlier in the pandemic has subsided. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has reduced the frequency and modified the format of reported data related to COVID-19 vaccinations, cases, testing, and other indicators. Similarly, the CDC has cut back on the frequency of reporting of a number of data elements. Other data sources, including the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, have ceased data reporting altogether.

The City of Cambridge will be discontinuing updates to the Cambridge COVID-19 Data Center as of May 11, 2023. This will also be the last day that case numbers are reported in the City’s Daily Update, marking over 1,100 days of COVID-19 reporting since the pandemic began.  Although the final update will occur on May 11, the Data Center will remain available as a historical resource.

For the foreseeable future, the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) will continue to provide regional wastewater data on its website, here. Cambridge information is included in the graph entitled “Recent North System RNA Signal by Date”. The data behind the graph is also presented in pdf form on MWRA website. The City of Cambridge has a contract with Biobot to provide local wastewater data through June 30, 2023; this data will be available weekly on the Cambridge Public Health Department website.

The Cambridge Public Health Department (CPHD) reminds residents that despite the end of Data Center updates, Health Department staff will continue to:

  • Monitor COVID-19 activity in the community and share timely updates;
  • Offer free COVID-19 rapid tests and masks at our facility at 119 Windsor Street; and
  • Serve as an ongoing resource for residents who test positive for COVID-19 via our hotline at 617-933-0797.

CPHD will host two additional vaccine clinics this season, on Wednesday, May 17 and Wednesday, June 7, from 2-4 p.m.. Residents can register for an appointment at: https://home.color.com/vaccine/register/cambridge/.

As it has for many years, CPHD will be offering vaccination clinics in the fall at locations throughout the community. Residents will be able to get flu shots and recommended COVID-19 vaccines at these clinics.


CDC COVID-19 Data Reporting

Massachusetts Department of Public Health COVID-19 Data Reporting

Massachusetts Water Resources Authority Wastewater Reports

Page was posted on 5/5/2023 1:21 PM
Page was last modified on 7/25/2023 12:31 AM
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