Rates, Cases and Testing Stay Steady and Low in the Downtown

Little has changed and rates and testing remains very encouraging for the downtown neighborhoods, as they display some of the lowest rates of infection in the city outside of the larger homeless population that is buoying up rates and cases in the South End.

Of all the downtown areas, Fenway remains the least affected neighborhood in the city with 252 positive cases and an infection rate of 46 per 10,000 residents. The Downtown/Back Bay/Beacon Hill areas recorded 347 cases with an infection rate of 62.3 per 10,000 residents. In the South End, the number of cases grew to 727 for a rate of 203.3 per 10,000. That rate is not indicative of the general neighborhood as many of the homeless population were tested at shelters and Boston Medical Center, and were given a South End address if they were positive for the virus.

The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) released the latest data on Friday of last week, and was current up through May 14 at 1:05 p.m.

On the matter of testing, all neighborhoods have been tested consistently, though on the lower end. The South End has had 2,785 tests and a positive rate of 26.4 percent. The Downtown area has had 2,442 tests with a positive rate of 14.3 percent, while the Fenway had 1,448 tests and a positive rate of 16.3 percent.

Some neighborhoods like South Dorchester had tested more than 5,500 residents, and East Boston had tested 3,580 residents with a positive rate of 36.3 percent, which was the highest in the city.

East Boston had 1,281 cases and a rate of 273 per 10,000.

Hyde Park had the highest infection rate at 279.9 per 10,000 – something that could be explained by the large numbers of nursing homes and elderly care centers in that neighborhood, though more research is needed on that matter.

Meanwhile, South Dorchester had the highest number of cases, with 1,746.

•On the issue of race, Black/African Americans are still affected at much higher rates than other races, with 39 percent of the cases in Boston coming from that population. The date, however, is incomplete with 20 percent of cases not reflecting any race. Hispanic residents also increased a great deal over the week, climbing to 24 percent of the cases after having been at 17 percent last week.

Whites make up 25 percent of all cases, but whites make up 43 percent of all deaths (244 deaths).

As of Tuesday, May 19, there were a total of 12,050 confirmed cases and 5,121 people had recovered. There were 588 deaths from COVID-19 complications.

•The numbers of women affected by the virus also continued to grow larger than men. That was first reported last week as the two genders evened out statistically for the first time, with men having been affected more previously.

Of all the cases, women made up 51.4 percent and men made up 47.4 percent.

Women’s infection rate also grew, sitting at 166 per 10,000, with men at 165.4 per 10,000.

•Most cases are still concentrated heavily in the older adult population.

Figures showed that one in three cases was a person 60 or older. Those age 50-59, though, made up the largest percentage of cases, with 17.2 percent of cases. Those 80 years old and above, had an infection rate of 578.7 per 10,000, much higher than all other age groups.

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