Last week Beacon Hill’s cumulative COVID-19 positive test rate and the weekly positive test rate both increased.
According to the latest data released by the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) last Friday, overall since the pandemic started 47,517 Beacon Hill, Back Bay, North End, West End and Downtown residents have been tested for COVID-19 and the data shows that 6.4 percent of those tested were COVID positive. This was a 3.2 percent increase from the 6.2 percent reported by the BPHC two weeks ago.
Last week, 2,554 residents were tested and 2.9 percent were positive–this was a 45 percentage decrease from the 2 percent reported by the BPHC two Fridays ago.
Citywide, 27,067 residents were tested and 3.6 percent were COVID positive–this was a 5.5 decrease from the 3.6 percent positive test rate reported by the BPHC two weeks ago.
In his last press briefing Friday before heading to Washington DC to serve as U.S. Secretary of Labor, former Mayor Martin Walsh said ICU occupancy has continued to go down and the case numbers have stayed below the city’s thresholds of concern for about a month now.
“We are ready to move forward in our reopening,” he said. Acting Mayor Kim Janey will now take over the reigns and oversee Boston’s reopening process.
On Monday the state moved to Phase 4 Step 1 of the statewide reopening plan. This means that more activities and industries will be allowed to be open, and capacity limits for event venues and public settings will be expanded.
Boston, we will move into a modified Phase 4 Step 1, consistent with the cautious approach the city has taken throughout the pandemic.
Starting on March 22, the State will allow indoor and outdoor stadiums, arenas, and ballparks to open with a strict 12 percent capacity limit in place, after they submit a plan to the Department of Public Health. The City of Boston will align with this step.
“But, moving forward, we will only allow these venues to go above 12 percent capacity if the State allows it and if Boston’s positivity rate stays under 2.75 percent, for two consecutive weeks, as calculated by the City,” said Walsh. “We are also requiring these venues to submit their safety plan to the City’s Licensing Board.”
On March 22, the State will expand gathering limits for event venues and public settings to 100 people indoors and 150 people outdoors. The City of Boston will also increase gathering limits for event venues and public settings, but they will not be as high as the State’s limits. Boston will allow up to 60 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.
Under the State’s guidance, outdoor gathering limits at private residences will remain at a maximum of 25 people, and limits for indoor house gatherings will remain at 10 people. The same goes for the City of Boston.
Live musical performances will be allowed at restaurants in Boston. This includes all live entertainment except singing. Singing is still not allowed indoors because of the risk of spreading respiratory droplets.
All of this information will be posted in detail at Boston.gov/coronavirus.
The BPHC data released last Friday showed Beacon Hill, Back Bay, North End, West End and Downtown had an infection rate of 535.5 cases per 10,000 residents, up 3 percent from 520 cases per 10,000 residents reported two weeks ago.
An additional 86 residents became infected with the virus last week and the total number of cases in the area increased from 2,898 cases to 2,984 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 percent percent last week and went from 61,025 cases to 62,294 confirmed cases in a week. Sixteen additional Boston residents died from the virus last week and there are now 1,329 total deaths in the city from COVID.