Local Health Agent Says COVID Cases Increased in January

COVID-19 illustration by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

FALMOUTH – A local health official gave an update on a recent uptick in COVID-19 cases on Cape Cod and why the region continues to see increases in January. 

During his January 13 update, Falmouth Health Agent Scott McGann reported Barnstable County’s community transmission rate had dropped back down to a Medium level after last week saw the region marked as High by the CDC metric. 

“January’s usually our month to be high,” McGann said as he referred to county case numbers from previous surges that occurred during 2021 and 2022. 

“It’s the cold and flu as well, respiratory viruses, coming out of the holidays, lots of mixing, lots of travel,” he said. 

McGann noted that although January has seen a spike, it hasn’t been as severe as previous years.

“You get an increase, but you don’t see an increase like you saw last January. The number of cases was off the chart,” he added.

Falmouth saw 105 confirmed cases from December 30, 2022 through January 12, 2023, however those numbers don’t include at-home tests. McGann said the last 4 weeks the town was averaging around 50 confirmed cases. 

Falmouth’s percent positivity was at 12.9% from December 25, 2022 through January 7, 2023, up 4.5% from the previous period. 

McGann said another factor in the recent case numbers could be the lack of people who have sought out a booster or updated bivalent booster.

Although 82% of Falmouth’s population is fully vaccinated, about 56% have received boosters while only 31% have gone for an updated booster. 

McGann said that the XBB.1.5 variant is the dominant variant in the northeast region. It’s also referred to as the Kraken variant since it’s a hybrid of two earlier strains of Omicron.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccine and booster availability

By Brian Engles, CapeCod.com NewsCenter


About Brian Engles

Brian Engles is a longtime local of the Cape. He studied Film & TV at Boston University and in addition to his role at Cape Cod Broadcasting Media, he also works as a music instructor and records original songs.

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