Positive COVID Test Rate Continues to Climb

After experiencing a 44 percent increase two weeks ago, the positive test rate in Back Bay and surrounding neighborhoods increased by 25 percent according to the latest data released by the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) on Friday.

Last week the BPHC reported that 29,862 Back Bay, Beacon Hill, North End, West End and Downtown residents were tested for COVID-19 and the data shows that 6.9 percent of those tested were COVID positive. This was a 25 percent increase from the 5.5 percent testing positive as reported two weeks ago. The citywide positive test rate average was 10.2 percent–a 6.25 percent percent increase from the 9.6 percent that tested positive two weeks ago.

Overall since the pandemic began 3.3 percent of Back Bay, Beacon Hill, North End, West End and Downtown residents were found to be COVID positive.

At an emergency ZOOM meeting with healthcare providers and the BPHC thanked hte city’s partners for their continued partnership, especially in these difficult times.

“I know they’re working long hours and making personal sacrifices, and I can’t thank them enough for all of their dedicated service and what they’ve done,” said Walsh. “In Massachusetts as of yesterday (last Wednesday), there were 189,518 cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic and 2,744 cases were recorded Wednesday. That’s a pretty significant number for one day. We haven’t really seen numbers like that since back in April and May.  So as you know, this is a very serious, serious virus in Boston. We’re seeing increases here in COVID and we are entering another critical point in this pandemic. We’re seeing significant and concerning increases of COVID-19. In our city, the daily cases are starting to look like the numbers that are around the peak in April and May. Hospital admissions are not at that level, however, they’ve increased over time. And we need to stay focused on turning this trend around.”

Walsh said one strategy to combat the rising numbers is testing.

“We’re encouraging everyone to get tested, and to make testing part of your regular routine,” he said. “We have 30 other testing sites across the city. We’re not maximizing our testing capacity. So we really need to make sure that we do everything we can to get people tested. We need to make sure we get an accurate number with the virus on what the tests really are in the city.”

Walsh said that if these numbers continue to go up the city will unfortunately have to pose more restriction.

“And I think that’s the last thing we want to do for our businesses and our communities,” said Walsh. “But unfortunately, if we have to, we will always put public health first in our communities, and we also understand the impacts on our business and our economy. So we need to do whatever we can to bring down the spread.”

The infection rate in Back Bay and surrounding neighborhoods increased 10.25 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 182.8 cases per 10,000 residents, up from 165.8 cases per 10,000 residents.

Ninety-six additional residents became infected with the virus last week and the total number of cases in the area increased from 923 cases to 1,019 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 2.9 percent last week and went from 24,393 cases to 25,105 confirmed cases. Ten more Boston residents died from the virus and there are now 899 total deaths in the city from COVID.

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