Top Boston doctors are hopeful that the daily COVID-19 case count will begin to decline in Massachusetts in the next week or two, then drop dramatically.
The estimation is based on a number of different data and prediction models, including Boston's wastewater COVID-19 tracking. Tufts Medical Center's Epidemiologist Dr. Shira Doron pointed to the latest wastewater data during NBC10 Boston's weekly "COVID Q&A" series Tuesday.
“We are seeing cases come down in the hardest-hit areas," Doron said. "And we are seeing that wastewater curve start to take a downturn, which we hope means we will start to see the cases come down soon, and then the hospitalizations and deaths to follow."
New data unveiled Tuesday showed the level of COVID in the city's sewer system dropped back down to where it was on Dec. 30. While that's only two weeks ago, and still higher than any point before this winter, it's still down nearly half from peak levels and could indicate that the current surge is subsiding.
Public health experts are hoping to see is a corresponding drop in COVID cases, hospitalizations and deaths, similar to South Africa's recent experience with the variant.
"What we’re waiting for is this ice pick- shaped curve that we saw in South Africa, we’re hoping we’ll see that, but there’s no guarantee we’ll see that," Doron said.
Experts predict the drop in hospitalizations and deaths will lag behind the drop in case numbers by about two to four weeks.
Some people are confident we're already moving in the right direction.
"I thought we were already peaked! It seems like we are," said John Carty of Norwood.
Others are more cautiously optimistic that we will be able to return to more normal day-to-day living soon.
"Obviously, I'm cautious of it because we hear so many different theories, but that would be a really exciting bit of news if that's correct," Taylor Lunt of Scituate said.