Downtown Neighborhoods Differ Greatly in Reported COVID-19 Infections, Rates Are Similar to the Average

The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) reported this weekend a citywide report by neighborhood and age range of those infected by COVID-19, with the downtown neighborhoods varying greatly on infection rates between the Fenway, South End and Back Bay/Beacon Hill as of April 2.

Since that time, data and rates might have changed, as numerous new infections have been reported across the City since neighborhood data was released. As of April 7, according to Boston Public Health Commission data, there are now 2,287 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 258 people recovered and 25 deaths.

For the April 2 data release, the citywide average rate was 18.1 per 10,000 people. South Dorchester had the most cases with 175, but only had a rate of 21.6. Hyde Park and East Boston had the highest concentration of cases, with 30.4 (104 cases) and 27.7 (130 cases).

The data was as of 1 p.m. on Thursday, April 2, and new neighborhood data is expected on April 10. (Check www.thebostonsun.com for complete updates through the week).

Back Bay/Beacon Hill/Downtown had the most cases downtown, with 86 reported, but only had a rate per 10,000 of 15.4 – which was well below the City average of 18.1.

The South End had the highest concentration of cases with a rate of 19.6, which is nearly two points above the citywide average. There were 70 cases reported throughout the South End neighborhood. On the other hand, the Fenway had the lowest rate by far with 8.4 per 10,000 people (46 cases). That could possibly be attributed to the quick closing of the universities that dominate the Fenway and Longwood areas.

Back Bay/Beacon Hill and the South End were listed as “similar to the rest of Boston,” while Fenway joined areas like West Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, and Allston/Brighton as “lower than the rest of Boston.”

In other places nearby, such as Revere and Chelsea – the numbers have really spiked. Revere, with a population of around 53,000 people, reported 218 cases and several deaths on April 3, while Chelsea, with a population of around 42,000 reported 229 cases and three deaths on April 4.

In Boston, there were 1,116 active cases on April 2, with 106 people having recovered. There were 10 deaths citywide as well. That equaled a total of 1,232 confirmed cases in Boston. Of all those active cases, 96 have been hospitalized. There were also many residents showing up at the Emergency Room with COVID Like Illness (CLI). That has been transformed into a statistic known as CLI and of all ER visits, 9.1 percent were for those with CLI. That was up from 7.4 percent in the week prior (March 20-26).

In Boston overall, it appears that men have a higher incidence of infection (18.7) that women (17.4) at this point, with that overall rate in Boston being 18.1.

The age ranges have been changing in the last week, with age 0-19 registering hardly any confirmed cases (0.9 rate). The highest rates have migrated to those in middle age, with those 40-49 having a rate of 28.2 and those 50-59 with a rate of 28.3. While those 20-29 initially showed comparable numbers, they are now on the lower end of the spectrum with a rate of 15.4 – that compared to those just above them ages 30-39, whose rate is much higher at 24.0.

For the most part, older adults have stayed steady in their rates, which are higher than the overall citywide average, but lower than those in middle age. (70-79 had a rate of 23.6 and 80-plus were 22.9).

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