Positive Test Rates Drop in Back Bay and Surrounding Area: Cases on the Rise Elsewhere in Boston

After spiking dramatically two weeks ago, the positive test rate in Back Bay and surrounding neighborhoods dropped by 24 percent according to the latest data released by the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC).

Last week the Back Bay Sun reported a 138 percent spike in positive test rates here but that number has since come down.

Last week the BPHC reported that 29,103 Back Bay, Beacon Hill, North End, West End and Downtown residents were tested for COVID-19 and the data shows that 3.8 percent of those tested were COVID positive. This was a 24 percent increase from the 5 percent testing positive as reported two weeks ago. The citywide positive test rate average was 7.1 percent–a 9 percent decrease from the 7.8 percent that tested positive two weeks ago.

Overall since the pandemic began 2.8 percent of Back Bay, North End, West End and Downtown residents were found to be COVID positive.

The infection rate in Back Bay and surrounding neighborhoods increased 5.9 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 148.2 cases per 10,000 residents, up from 139.9 cases per 10,000 residents.

Forty-six additional residents became infected with the virus and the total number of cases in the area increased from 780 cases to 826 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 6.8 percent last week and went from 21,206 cases to 22,646 cases.

Thirteen more Boston residents died from the virus and there are now 884 total deaths in the city from COVID.

At his daily press briefing last week Mayor Martin Walsh reiterated that the citywide positive test rate fell to 7.1 percent for the week ending October 31, with both more tests taken and fewer positive results.  He said that’s a good sign, but the city and residents still have a lot of work to do.

“We are still averaging more than 120 new cases per day and, in neighborhood data, East Boston, Dorchester, and Mattapan remain at or above 10 [percent positivity.”

Since launching the city’s “Get the Test Boston” campaign Walsh said the city saw an 8 percent increase in the number of people being tested last week. He said that continuing to increase the number of people getting tested will make a big difference, moving forward, in the city’s ability to track and contain the virus. He thanked everyone who got tested for COVID-19 recently and encouraged others to do so.

“Our mobile testing sites are free and open to all, regardless of symptoms,” said Walsh. “Since we launched them in May, our mobile testing teams have administered nearly 14,000 tests across Roxbury, Allston, South Boston, Mattapan, East Boston, and Dorchester. This week and next week, they are in East Boston at Central Square Park and in Mattapan at Jubilee Christian Church.”

The Mayor asked everyone to keep wearing a face covering whenever they are outside the house; keep washing hands frequently with soap and warm water and wiping down frequently used objects and surfaces; and keep maintaining six feet of distance from others while avoiding parties and other gatherings. 

He also asked all Bostonians to familiarize themselves with the new state advisories that went into effect Friday. They include wearing a face covering at all times in public places; a Stay At Home Advisory for 10pm to 5am; and a closing time for in-person businesses of 9:30pm.

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