With a dramatic increase in testing for COVID-19, the number of those infected with the COVID-19 virus in East Boston has increased.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic Eastie has emerged as a ‘HotSpot’ for the virus and the neighborhood’s infection rate continues to rise.
In one week, East Boston’s COVID-19 infection rate rose from 146.6 cases per 10,000 residents to a frightening infection rate of 206.9 cases per 10,000 residents as of Friday.
As of Friday there were 971 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Eastie, up from the 688 cases reported by the Boston Public Health Commission BPHC) a week ago.
The statistics released by the BPHC as part of its weekly COVID-19 report breaks down the number of cases and infection rates in each neighborhood. It also breaks down the number of cases by age, gender and race.
According to the BPHC data, Eastie, Mattapan and Dorchester experienced elevated levels of testing positive at or above 33 percent during the past week suggesting a need for increased testing relative to other Boston neighborhoods.
Eastie experienced the highest percentage increase of testing during the past week and still had the highest percentage positive among all Boston neighborhoods.
In the past week 2,065 residents were tested for the virus and 45.5 percent of those tested were positive. Compared to the previous week 1,171 residents in Eastie were tested and 46.8 percent were found to be COVID-19 positive.
Citywide there are currently 10,077 positive cases of coronavirus–confirmed and presumptive. So far, 2,384 of these 10,077 residents have fully recovered. There have been 442 COVID-19 related deaths among Boston residents. Massachusetts has 69,087 positive cases of coronavirus and 4,090 deaths reported at this time.
At the mayor’s daily press briefing on Monday Mayor Martin Walsh provided some additional data to illustrate the current state of the coronavirus outbreak in Boston.
“The number of people in ICU care for COVID-19 at Boston hospitals has been gradually going down,” he said. “At the same time, Boston hospitals are still operating at around 120 percent of normal ICU capacity.”
Mayor Walsh expressed that Boston is moving in the right direction, but that this is not a time to ease up on the precautions we are taking to prevent the spread of the virus.
Over the weekend the city began distributing new COVID-19 information booklets with information on how to stay safe during the coronavirus outbreak in Eastie.
“In total, we will be distributing about 70,000 of these booklets to places like convenience stores, banks, and food distribution sites,” said Walsh. “Following the recommendations of the City of Boston’s COVID-19 Health Inequities Task Force, we are targeting neighborhoods with the greatest needs to bridge information gaps.”
Walsh also reminded residents of Governor Baker’s executive order requiring all Massachusetts residents over the age of two to wear face coverings in public and wherever physical distancing is a challenge. This order goes into effect on Wednesday, May 6 and includes wearing a mask at grocery stores, retail stores, and on public transit.