After a 40 percent increase in the COVID-19 positive test rate increased in the Back Bay and surrounding neighborhoods two weeks ago the numbers here have seemed to level off according to data released by the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) last Friday.
However, the Mayor and health experts warn these numbers could increase dramatically in coming weeks as many Boston neighborhoods and surrounding communities experience spikes in infection rates.
Last week the BPHC reported that 26,944 Back Bay, North End, Beacon Hill, West End and Downtown residents were tested for COVID-19 and the data shows that 2 percent of those tested were COVID positive. This was down ever so slightly from the 2.1 percent testing positive as reported two weeks ago. The citywide average was 5.7 percent.
Overall since the pandemic began 2.7 percent of Back Bay, North End, Beacon Hill, West End and Downtown residents were found to be COVID positive.
The infection rate in the Back Bay and surrounding neighborhoods increased 2.7 percent in one week according to the latest city statistics.
The BPHC data released last Friday showed the Back Bay, North End, Beacon Hill, West End and Downtown had an infection rate of 125.9 cases per 10,000 residents, up from 122.5 cases per 10,000 residents last Friday.
Nineteen more residents became infected with the virus and the total number of cases in the area increased from 683 cases to 702 cases as of last Friday.
However, compared to other neighborhoods the Back Bay, North End, Beacon Hill, West End and Downtown have the second lowest infection rates among residents second to only Fenway.
The area is also still well below the city’s average infection rate of 271.5 cases per 10,000 residents.
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 rose by 5.3 percent last week from 17,937 cases to 18,904 confirmed cases. So far 16,212 Boston residents have fully recovered from the virus and 8 additional Boston residents died last week–bringing the total number of fatalities in the city remains to 771.
At his daily press briefing last week Mayor Martin Walsh said parts of Dorchester, Hyde Park and Mattapan are emerging as new COVID hotspots.
“Among neighborhoods, the 02121 and 02125 zip codes of Dorchester, as well as Hyde Park and Mattapan, were the neighborhoods with the highest positive rates,” said Walsh. “East Boston and the 02122 and 02124 zip codes of Dorchester saw their rates go down, but remain above the citywide average. Roxbury remains above the citywide average as well.”
The Mayor said that, overall, the numbers we are seeing in positive tests and hospital admissions are numbers the city has not seen since June, when Boston was coming down from the peak of COVID-19 cases.
“In response, we are strengthening our focus on prevention, community outreach, and support while also developing enforcement strategies for COVID guidelines,” he said.