Weekly Positive Test Rate Down Second Week in a Row

Last week the cumulative COVID-19 positive test rate in Back Bay and the surrounding neighborhoods increased while the weekly positive test rate decreased for a second week in a row. 

According to the latest data released by the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) last Friday, overall since the pandemic started 43,271 Back Bay, Beacon Hill, North End, West End and Downtown residents have been tested for COVID-19 and the data shows that 5.7 percent of those tested were COVID positive–a 7.5 percent increase from the 5.3 percent two weeks ago.

Last week 3,101 residents were tested and 3.2 were positive–a 8.6 percent decrease from the 3.5 reported two Fridays ago.

Citywide, ​34,780 residents were tested and 6.8 percent were COVID positive–a 5.5 percent decrease from the 7.2 percent testing positive two weeks ago.

At a press briefing Monday Mayor Martin Walsh said while the numbers are moving in the right directions, residents still need to remain vigilant.

“The average number of positive tests each day was about 375, also down from the week before,” said Mayor Walsh. “Our current community positivity rate was 6.8 percent. That is lower than the week before, and down 1.6 percentage points over the last two weeks.”

The Mayor said that, throughout the pandemic, Boston has taken a cautious approach to reopening, and only moves forward with reopening if public health experts say it’s safe.

“In recent weeks, we’ve seen some improvement in our COVID numbers,” said Walsh. “That is why we are moving into Phase 3 Step 1 today (Monday). You can go to Boston.gov/Reopening to find the list of businesses allowed to reopen.”

The Mayor also mentioned that, last week, the State moved Boston from “high risk” to “moderate risk” on their map, which is encouraging news. However, Walsh warned that we must stay vigilant.

“The numbers could change any time,” he said. “Every single person has a role to play in keeping these numbers down.  Everyone can take actions on a daily basis to protect themselves and their loved ones. He reminded everyone to wear a mask; social distance; wash your hands with soap and warm water; disinfect surfaces; and avoid gatherings.”

With Super Bowl Sunday coming up next weekend, he asked everyone to refrain from gathering with people outside your household. He also reminded everyone to make testing a part of your routine.

“We have over 30 testing sites including mobile sites that are free and open to all, regardless of symptoms. Visit Boston.gov or call 3-1-1 for complete details,” said Walsh.

The Mayor ended his press briefing by recognizing that February 1, marked one year since the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Boston, and that none of us knew what to expect a year ago.

“The pandemic has turned our city, and our world, upside down,” said Walsh. “Living with this virus hasn’t been easy. It’s been especially hard for communities who have already faced deep, historic disparities in health and economic outcomes. And we’ve all had to make sacrifices. But we’ve also seen countless examples of Bostonians coming together. And that spirit helps us keep our chins up, when times are especially tough. We need that now more than ever, because the virus is still with us, and will be with us for a while longer. But look where we are — one year later, on February 1, 2021. Today, we’re moving forward with Phase 3, Step 1 of reopening — one step closer to helping our economy recover, and getting life back to normal. We’re opening two vaccination sites: a mass vaccination site at Fenway Park, which opens today, and soon, a vaccination clinic at the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury, which will expand into a mass vaccination site. Thousands of people have received the COVID-19 vaccine already, and we are working to make sure our most vulnerable residents get vaccinated as soon as possible. We also finally have a partner and leader in Washington who is committed to helping cities and states beat this virus.  We have begun the process of healing. And we’re going to see it through, together. Thank you, again, to everyone for continuing to do your part, day in and out, to help us get through this crisis.”

The infection rate in Beacon Hill and surrounding neighborhoods increased 6.6 percent in one week according to the latest city statistics.

The BPHC data released last Friday showed Back Bay, Beacon Hill, North End, West End and Downtown had an infection rate of 432.8 cases per 10,000 residents, up 6.6 percent from 405.9 cases per 10,000 residents.

One hundred fifty additional residents became infected with the virus last week and the total number of cases in the area increased from 2,262 cases to 2,412 cases as of last Friday.

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 4.4 percent  percent last week and went from  51,506 cases to 53,789 confirmed cases in a week. Thirty additional Boston residents died from the virus last week and there are now 1,163 total deaths in the city from COVID.

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