City Councilor Lydia Edwards Reacts to Eastie’s COVID Infection Rate

In one week, East Boston’s COVID-19 infection rate nearly doubled and as of Friday there was an infection rate of 50.7 cases per 10,000 residents, up from an infection rate of 27.7 cases per 10,000 residents just a week ago.

As of Friday there were 238 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Eastie, up from the 130 cases reported by the Boston Public Health Commission a week ago.

The stats released by the BPHC as part of its weekly COVID-19 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.

Eastie has the fifth highest infection rate in the City of Boston behind the South End (78.9), Hyde Park (66.6), Mattapan (57.1), and Dorchester (54.9).

The sobering numbers and the fact that Latinos in Boston make up over 16 percent of COVID-19 cases in Boston is cause for some alarm.

“Some of you may have seen the recent data from the Boston Public Health Commission showing that East Boston has a Covid-19 infection rate of 50.7 cases per 10,000 residents,” said City Councilor Lydia Edwards. “While this information is troubling, there are a few important things for us to keep in mind when looking at the data.The first is that a high rate of confirmed cases means that the neighborhood is testing at higher levels. Knowledge is an important tool in the battle against this virus. The high testing numbers highlight the incredible work that our local neighborhood clinics like the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center are doing.”

Edwards said currently, testing is not yet widely available to the general public. Testing sites, including the one at Suffolk Downs two weeks ago, are focusing on testing first responders like our nurses, doctors, and EMS personnel that are on the front lines of the fight against this virus. “Because of this limited testing availability, the current numbers of confirmed cases also indicate neighborhoods with a higher concentration of these first responders,” she said. “The current neighborhood breakdown of cases does not necessarily mean that a particular neighborhood is a hotbed of Covid-19 cases. We should still take this data very seriously and continue to follow social distancing guidelines outlined by the CDC. We all have a part to play in the fight against the coronavirus.”

Edwards said for most of us that means staying home as much as possible, covering our nose and mouth if we do leave the house, and making sure we stay at least six feet away from other people when doing essential tasks like grocery shopping or picking up medicine from the pharmacy.

“If we all do our part we will be successful in flattening the curve,” she said. “East Boston is a resilient neighborhood and I am confident in our collective ability to adapt, stay strong, and move forward from this crisis more united than we were before all this happened. I want to thank all of the first responders and medical personnel as well as the hospital cleaners, garbage collectors, delivery drivers, grocery store workers, and all other essential workers that put themselves at risk every day to help. We could not do this without you.”

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