The post Thanksgiving COVID-19 surge across Boston has slowed a bit but Mayor Martin Walsh is urging citizens to be vigilant ahead of Christmas. According to the latest data released by the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), Eastie residents testing positive for COVID last week increased another six percent and one out of every four residents are still testing positive for the virus. The neighborhood saw a dramatic 78 percent increase in positive test results the week after the Thanksgiving holiday and Mayor Martin Walsh is urging residents to be safe ahead of Christmas. . Last Friday, 28,222 Eastie residents were tested for COVID and 26.9 percent were found to be positive for the virus, a six percent increase from the 25.4 percent reported two Fridays ago. Eastie still has the highest positive test rate in all of Boston. The citywide positive test increased 17.2 percent last week and went from 17.3 percent of Boston residents testing positive for the virus to 20.3 percent. Overall since the pandemic began 15.8 percent of Eastie residents here have been found to be positive. At a press briefing last week the Mayor said that the number of COVID patients in Boston hospitals has continued to rise and the latest data has crossed our thresholds for concern on some metrics. “Daily Emergency Room visits for COVID-19 have gone up for eight days in a row,” said Walsh. “That’s a concern. The number of available adult hospital beds has gone down, and that’s a concern. Our hospitals are not in danger, at the moment, of being overwhelmed, but the trend is concerning.” Walsh said this data confirms why Boston moved back into a temporary, modified Phase 2, Step 2 of the reopening plan, in coordination with other cities and towns. ‘ “Our focus is to keep the people of Boston safe,” he said. “That’s what every decision we make is about. We have to reduce opportunities for COVID transmission so fewer people get sick, and so hospitals can continue to treat everyone, whether they have COVID or any other serious condition. That’s the path to a strong recovery for our city.” The Mayor said that this is, and must be, a collective effort. “We need everyone to be part of this. We cannot let our guards down, even a little bit,” said Walsh. “Everyone must keep wearing masks, handwashing, and avoiding crowds. When you go out, only go out for essential needs; and please follow this guidance while visiting any business.” He also asked everyone to make a decision to commit to safety over the holidays. “We are living with what happened over Thanksgiving right now, and we can’t let that happen again,” said Walsh. “People should not be traveling for Christmas or hosting or attending parties of any kind. Everyone must limit gatherings to their current households.” Walsh said the city’s rollback to tighter restrictions is about making individual sacrifices for the greater good. “That’s how we have to approach the holidays as well,” he said. “The holidays are a time of collective renewal during the dark winter months. That’s what we’re focused on this year, more than ever before, only in a different way.” Eastie’s infection rate rose by 11 percent according to the data released by the BPHC last Friday. Eastie’s COVID infection rate went from 880.3 cases per 10,000 residents to 977 cases per 10,000 residents. The citywide average is 510.5 cases per 10,000 residents and Eastie still has the highest infection rates in all of Boston. An additional 454 Eastie residents contracted the virus and there are now 4,585 confirmed cases, up from the 4,131 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 increased 5.6 percent percent last week and went from 33,323 cases to 35,201 confirmed cases in a week. Twelve more Boston residents died from the virus and there are now 965 total deaths in the city from COVID.