In August, East Boston’s COVID-19 positive test rates and infection rates reached all time highs since the pandemic began, raising the alarm that immediate action needed to be taken by health and elected officials to curb the dramatic spike in infections.
While the local positive test rate jumped to 11.8 last month, the rate of residents testing positive has decreased to 6.2 percent, a 42 percent reduction.
“In East Boston, an area that has seen the highest rates of COVID-19 this summer, we are seeing a promising trend,” said Mayor Martin Walsh. “The positive test rate is at 6.2 percent– still higher than we want, but significantly lower than 11.8 percent, which is where it stood before the City’s targeted outreach efforts began a few weeks ago. The Mobile Team will stay in East Boston for an additional week, and we’ll continue outreach. Every other neighborhood’s positive test rate is under four percent and most were under three percent.”
The Mayor thanked everyone who has contributed to lowering these numbers and noted that three weeks ago, the City launched an elevated outreach plan for Eastie to address the increase in case data.
“The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) is working with several City departments to distribute 2,000 COVID-19 kits with cleaning supplies and information to residents and businesses in multiple languages, across the neighborhood,” said Walsh. “The City is also partnering with local churches, and is focused on helping people in households with multiple generations learn strategies for preventing the spread of the virus.”
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.
According to the latest data released by the BPHC on Friday, Eastie’s COVID infection rate rose only 2.8 percent and went from 468.2.cases per 10,000 residents to 481.6 cases per 10,000 residents. The last increase two weeks ago was 4.3 percent. The citywide average is 236.3 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 but the city’s response mentioned by the Mayor has seemed to be ‘bending the curve’ so to speak here in the neighborhood. The week over week infection rate rose by only 1.7 percent in early August but then jumped by 3.6 percent five weeks ago but jumped again by 5.5 percent the following week and then 6.8 percent three weeks ago.
As of Friday 63 more people became infected with the virus in Eastie, and there were 2,260 confirmed COVID-19 cases, up from the 2,197 reported by the BPHC two weeks ago.
Of the 14,653 Eastie residents tested for COVID last week 6.2 percent were found to be positive for the virus. Overall since the pandemic began 15.8 percent of residents here have been found to be positive. The citywide positive test rate is 1.6 percent.
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 2 percent last week from 15,788 cases to 16,106 cases. So far 12,640 Boston residents have fully recovered from the virus and one additional resident died last week bringing the total of fatalities in the city to 755.