After experiencing dramatic spikes in COVID-19 positive test rates and infection rates, the situation in East Boston have seemed to level out a bit
Three weeks ago the positive test rate jumped to 11.8 percent and the change in infection rates week over week was over five percent causing alarm among healthcare professionals and Mayor Martin Walsh.
However, last week the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) reported that the infection rate only rose by 4.3 percent and there was no change in the positive test rate.
According to the latest data released by the BPHC on Friday, Eastie’s COVID infection rate rose only 4.3 percent and went from 448.6 cases per 10,000 residents to 468.2 cases per 10,000 residents. The citywide average is 231.5 cases per 10,000 residents and Eastie still has the highest infection rate in all of Boston. The infection rate in Eastie had been steadily climbing since late July. The week over week infection rate rose by only 1.7 percent in early August but then jumped by 3.6 percent four weeks ago but jumped again by 5.5 percent the following week and then 6.8 percent two weeks ago.
As of Friday 92 more people became infected with the virus in Eastie and there were 2,197 confirmed COVID-19 cases, up from the 2,105 reported by the BPHC two weeks ago.
In response to Eastie’s August COVID spike, Mayor Martin Walsh and his team launched a multipronged effort to start reducing the neighborhood’s infection rate.
In partnership with the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC) the city opened a mobile testing site in Central Square all last week.
The BPHC has mobilized teams to provide safety materials and education to residents and businesses in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, and Arabic. The health workers have been out at MBTA stations and key intersections, and will be expanding into neighborhood parks at times when people gather and play sports. They are distributing COVID care kits, sharing information about safety precautions, and answering questions that people may have about COVID-19.
In addition, business outreach began last week in multiple languages, to make sure management and staff know the regulations; have access to PPE, signage, and prevention efforts like social distancing and hygiene; and know that they need to report to BPHC when they have an employee test positive.
The statistics released by the BPHC as part of its weekly COVID19 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.
Citywide positive cases of coronavirus rose only 1.4 percent last week from 15,573 cases to 15,7880 cases. So far 12,196 Boston residents have fully recovered from the virus and one additional resident died last week bringing the total of fatalities in the city to 754.