Last week, the cumulative COVID-19 positive test rate in Eastie went up slightly while the weekly positive test rate dropped for a second week.
According to the latest data released by the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), of the 32,715 Eastie residents tested for COVID since the pandemic began, 18.4 percent overall were found to be positive for the virus, a 2.2 percent increase from the 18 percent reported two Fridays ago.
However, 2,786 Eastie residents were tested for the virus last week and 9.7 percent were positive–a four percent decrease from the 10.1 that tested positive two Fridays ago.
Citywide 37,455 residents were tested and 7.2 percent were COVID positive–a 5.2 percent decrease from the 7.6 percent testing positive two weeks ago.
At a press briefing last Friday, Mayor Martin Walsh said Boston has seen positive test rates go down in almost every single neighborhood.
“We’re seeing some improvement in our numbers, as they start to stabilize,” said Walsh. “However, our overall case numbers are still concerning, and our hospital numbers are higher than we’d like as well. Our COVID hospital admissions are slightly down from the previous week, but the percentage of our adult Non-Surge ICU Beds occupied remains high, at 99%. Hospitals can add surge beds if necessary, and go beyond 100% of normal usage.”
The Mayor said that the City is in constant contact with our hospitals to support them, and help preserve their capacity.
Walsh said last weekend the first case of the new COVID variant was detected in a Boston resident who traveled internationally, and another Massachusetts resident has also tested positive for the variant. The Boston Public Health Commission’s Infectious Disease Bureau is working closely with the state’s Department of Public Health to monitor this situation.
“The health and well being of our residents remain our top priority,” said Walsh who shared information that is known about this new COVID variant. “There is no evidence that it causes more severe illness or increased risk of death. However, it spreads more easily and quickly than other variants. A higher transmission rate will lead to more cases, and could potentially burden our healthcare system.”
With that being said Walsh said everyone must double down on the precautions to slow the spread of the virus. That includes wearing a mask outside your home, keeping at least six feet of distance between yourself and others, avoiding gatherings, washing your hands often, and continuing to get tested.
Walsh added that the State made some adjustments to the statewide reopening plan. Gov. Charlie Baker lifted the Stay At Home Order between the hours of 10 pm to 5 am, effective Monday, January 25. Also effective Monday is the lifting of the Early Closure Order, which requires certain businesses to close by 9:30 pm. The state is also extending the temporary limit on capacity and gatherings, currently at 25 percent, until February 8th.
Walsh said that the State’s lifting of early closing times will apply to businesses in Boston. However, the list of allowed in-person activities will continue to be subject to the City of Boston’s temporary rollback to Phase 2. As a reminder, Boston extended this rollback to at least January 27. Walsh said for a full list of what activities and businesses are allowed in the City of Boston go to Boston.gov.
The Mayor said that the City of Boston’s rollback is an effort to slow the spread of the virus, protect hospital capacity, and avoid a more severe shutdown later on.
Walsh ended by saying that the City of Boston continues to work with the State to implement an equitable vaccine distribution plan. The full schedule of vaccine distribution can be found at Mass.gov.
“We urge everyone to get the vaccine when it’s your turn. It’s safe. And it’s one of the best things you can do to protect your family, community, and yourself,” said Walsh. “We understand that some people are hesitant to take this vaccine. That is especially true in Black and Latino communities. There’s no doubt that throughout history, communities of color have faced discrimination, manipulation, and outright cruelty in the healthcare system. COVID-19 has hit communities of color the hardest. The economic fallout has hit communities of color hardest. We don’t want communities of color to miss out on this vaccine, because it is the best tool we have to put this pandemic behind us and begin to heal. I urge everyone to get it when your time comes, and I thank everyone who has taken it already.”
Eastie’s infection rate rose by 4.2 percent according to the data released by the BPHC last Friday. Eastie’s COVID infection rate went from 1,242.1 cases per 10,000 residents to 1,294.3 cases per 10,000 residents. The citywide average is 733.5 cases per 10,000 residents.
An additional 245Eastie residents contracted the virus and there are now 6,074 confirmed cases, up from the 5,829 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 8.1 percent percent last week and went from 47,607 cases to 51,506 confirmed cases in a week. Fifty-one additional Boston residents died from the virus last week and there are now 1,133 total deaths in the city from COVID.