The city’s strategic response to the late-August uptick in East Boston’s COVID-19 positive test rate seems to be working.
Last Friday, the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) reported that Eastie’s COVID-19 positive test rate, after reaching an all-time high of 11.8 percent last month, has fallen to 5.1 percent. This was down from the test rate of 6.2 percent two weeks ago.
For nearly a month, the city has been working with healthcare professionals and agencies like the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center to curb the COVID spike in the neighborhood. The City launched an elevated outreach plan for Eastie to address the increase in case data.
“East Boston was down to a positive test rate of 5.2 percent, which is good progress after a recent high of 11.8 percent. Mobile testing remained in East Boston through Saturday and our multilingual outreach continues.”
Mayor Martin Walsh encouraged everyone in Eastie to get tested, especially if you are going out to work, you live in a household where people are working, or you have been around other people in gatherings of any kind. You can find testing locations and contact information at boston.gov/coronavirus.
In Eastie, the BPHC has been 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. 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 last Friday, Eastie’s COVID infection rate rose only 1.2 percent and went from 481.6 cases per 10,000 residents to 487.7 cases per 10,000 residents. The last increase two weeks ago was 2.6 percent. The citywide average is 241.8 cases per 10,000 residents and Eastie still has the highest infection rate in all of Boston.
As of Friday 29 more people became infected with the virus in Eastie and there were 2,289 confirmed COVID-19 cases, up from the 2,260 reported by the BPHC two weeks ago.
Of the 15,775 Eastie, residents tested for COVID last week 5.1 percent were found to be positive for the virus. Overall since the pandemic began, 15.1 percent of residents here have been found to be positive. The citywide positive test rate is 2.8, a 75 percent increase from the 1.6 percent reported two weeks ago.
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 by 3.5 percent last week from 16,106 cases to 16,676 cases. So far 13,357 Boston residents have fully recovered from the virus and six additional residents died last week bringing the total of fatalities in the city to 761.
During his daily press briefing on the virus, Walsh highlighted one notable trend.
“Forty-eight percent of new cases in the last two weeks of data are in people under the age of 30,” said Walsh.
Walsh stressed that young people must be especially cautious, in order to protect themselves and the rest of the community as well, including older populations who tend to experience more severe symptoms if they contract the virus.