While Massachusetts recently lifted its mask mandate for K-12 schools and both Medford and Somerville have removed their indoor masking requirements, Tufts continues to enforce a mask mandate.
COVID-19 cases have declined on the Medford/Somerville campus after reaching their all-time high two weeks ago. The university reported 12 new cases on Friday and 148 in the week before.
COVID-19 case numbers have shown noticeable signs of improvement after they peaked following Valentine’s Day. The university reported 21 new cases on Thursday and 171 in the week before, which are much lower than the record-breaking spike set in just the last two weeks.
Tufts experienced one of its most unpredictable periods of the pandemic last week, as cases soared to record-breaking highs on the Medford/Somerville campus in what can only be attributed to the highly-infectious omicron variant.
COVID-19 cases are finally going down at Tufts following the largest spike since the start of the pandemic. Cases have been cut nearly in half over the past week on the Medford/Somerville campus, falling in line with declining numbers across the county and the state.
Positive cases and isolation numbers have seen a slight rise since last week. The Medford/Somerville campus reported 19 new cases on Friday. The seven-day trailing average number of new cases on the Medford/Somerville campus was 19.29 on Feb. 11, up from 17.57 the week before.
COVID-19 vaccine boosters will be strongly recommended — but not yet required — for students across Tufts’ campuses, university officials told the Daily last week. Testing frequency and pandemic protocols are also currently expected to remain unchanged going into the Spring semester.
This Week in Science: Moderna boosters approved, koala chlamydia vaccine trial starts, NASA launches spaceship, leading primate center to be shut downBy Rachel Liu , Alex Viveros , Cindy Zhang and Maiah Islam | October 21
An FDA advisory panelunanimously voted last week to approve the use of a booster shot for the Moderna vaccine and again voted unanimously yesterday to approve a booster for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Moderna’s booster only applies to certain groups of people, such as those over the age of 65, high-risk individuals between the ages of 18 and 64 or people whose jobs put them at risk of contracting COVID-19. The individuals in all three categories should wait at least six months after their second dose to receive their Moderna booster shot. Although the FDA panel unanimously decided to approve the booster for those categories, the panel did not make any decisions on whether to recommend booster shots for low-risk adults over 18. Some members believe it is too early to make the call; they argue that as more people become eligible for the booster, it will be crucial to determine if it is effective at providing better protection against COVID-19. Additionally, some scientists say that there is not enough evidence to suggest that vaccine efficacy is decreasing, which, if true, could make a booster shot pointless.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administrationgranted market authorization to an electronic cigarette company for the first time on Tuesday, approving certain products for sale in the United States. The FDAapproved three products from R.J. Reynolds Vapor Company’s brand, Vuse, in an effort to diminish the impacts of traditional cigarettes, whose carcinogenic properties contribute to an estimated 400,000 U.S. deaths each year. The FDA concluded that the reduced morbidity and mortality among smokers outweigh the risks that approving Vuse products poses to youth. Notably, 10% of high school students who use e-cigarettes said Vuse is their usual brand.