Just as expected and like health officials warned, the city’s weekly COVID positive test rate exploded last week with the majority of new cases most likely traced back to the Thanksgiving Holiday where many gathered indoors maskless with friends and family.
However,the Back Bay and the surrounding area’s weekly positive test rate decreased slightly but around 700 people less got tested than the week of Thanksgiving.
According to the weekly report released Monday by the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), 1,955 Back Bay, Beacon Hill, North End, West End and Downtown residents were tested and 3.1 percent were positive. This was a 11 percent decrease from the 3.5 percent that tested positive between November 22 and November 29 but over 2,700 residents were tested during that time.
The citywide weekly positive test rate increased dramatically last week. According to the BPHC 21,26 residents were tested and 5.2 percent were COVID positive–this was a 30 percent increase from the 4 percent reported by the BPHC on November 29.
In response to the latest uptick in cases as well as hospitalizations across the city, Mayor Michelle Wu announced Monday that Boston health officials will distribute 20,000 free rapid antigen home tests and free masks to neighborhoods with the highest rates of COVID-19. Wu also appointed a 17-member advisory board to help city health officials combat the latest rise in COVID cases.
“We’re now entering year three of this public health emergency with new variants continuing to emerge and it is clear that we need leadership from every sector to help us take on this public health crisis with immediate steps,” said Wu at a press conference at City Hall.
Sixty-one additional residents have been infected with the virus between November 29 and December 6 and the total number of cases in the area increased to 4,679 cases overall since the pandemic began.
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 87,674 cases to 90,193 confirmed cases in a week. There were six additional deaths in Boston from the virus in the past week and the total COVID deaths is now at 1,473.