As experts predicted, the post-Thanksgiving COVID-19 surge is here and numbers are once again through the roof in East Boston.
After a 35 percent decrease in the local COVID positive test rate during Thanksgiving week, those testing positive for COVID last week increased a startling 78 percent.
According to the latest data released by the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) last Friday, 25,677 Eastie residents were tested for COVID and 21.9 percent were found to be positive for the virus, a 78 percent increase from the 12.3 percent reported two Fridays ago. Eastie again has the highest positive test rate in all of Boston.
Overall since the pandemic began 14.5 percent of Eastie residents here have been found to be positive.
The citywide positive test rate also increased dramatically last week and went from five percent of Boston residents testing positive for the virus to 11.9 percent–a 138 percent increase.
At his daily press conference last Thursday Mayor Martin Walsh said there is a sharp increase in viral activity and there’s an urgent need for vigilance: The Mayor said that after a couple of weeks of declining numbers Boston is now seeing, in the wake of Thanksgiving, a significant uptick in COVID activity.
“On Wednesday and Thursday, we recorded a combined 960 new cases in Boston, and Wednesday’s number for Massachusetts was the highest since the pandemic began,” said Walsh. “In addition, we are seeing more patients admitted to Boston hospitals due to COVID-19. Since Friday (Nov. 27), we’ve seen an increase of about 70 patients. We’re going to be monitoring the data, working closely with our hospitals and health care leaders, and bringing relief and resources where they are needed.”
Walsh said in the meantime, Bostonians must double-down on their personal precautions.
“Wear a face covering that covers your nose and your mouth when you are outside your house,” said Walsh. “Wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer. Clean and disinfect your surroundings, especially at work. If you are an employer, make sure your workers have what they need to be safe, and allow as many people to work from home as possible.”
The Mayor asked seniors, in particular, to take extra care and continue to stay at home as much as possible.
The Mayor repeated his request that everyone get tested, especially if you have reason to think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, or if you spent Thanksgiving with a group larger than your immediate household.
“Currently, we have over 30 testing sites in Boston,” said Walsh. “You can find them listed and mapped at boston.gov/coronavirus, or you can call 311.”
The free mobile testing site in Eastie is located in Central Square Park.
“The City will continue to invest in free mobile sites and bring them to neighborhoods where COVID activity is higher,” said Walsh. “Our mobile sites are free and open to anyone, regardless of whether you have COVID symptoms or not.”
Eastie’s infection rate rose by 7.5 percent according to the data released by the BPHC last Friday. Eastie’s COVID infection rate went from 757.7 cases per 10,000 residents to 814.6 cases per 10,000 residents. The citywide average is 420.8 cases per 10,000 residents and Eastie still has one of the highest infection rates in all of Boston.
An additional 267 Eastie residents contracted the virus with 3,823 confirmed cases, up from the 3,556 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 11.4 percent last week and went from 27,228 cases to 30,342 cases in a week.
Nineteen more Boston residents died from the virus and there are now 938 total deaths in the city from COVID.