After experiencing a 10 percent decrease in the weekly COVID positive test rate between July 23 and July 30, the weekly positive test rate has increased once again in Beacon Hill and the surrounding neighborhoods.
The citywide positive test rate has also neared 4 percent since July 30 and health officials are trying to get a handle on the Delta variant of the virus that has caused breakthrough infections among vaccinated residents and is decimating the unvaccinated population across the country.
According to the weekly report released last Friday released by the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), 1,680 Beacon Hill, North End, Back Bay, West End and Downtown residents were tested and 3 percent were positive. This was a 20 percent increase from the 2.5 percent of residents that tested positive on July 30.
Overall since the pandemic started 58,020 Beacon Hill, North End, Back Bay, 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 the same percentage reported by the BPHC on July 23.
Citywide, the weekly positive test rate increased nearly 30 percent last week. According to the BPHC 18,232 residents were tested and 3.7 percent were COVID positive–this was a 28 percent increase from the 2.9 percent reported by the BPHC two weeks ago.
The CDC is still studying the effects of the Delta variant on the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, especially children.
Dr. Mark Kline, the physician in chief of Children’s Hospital in New Orleans, which has some of the highest COVID infections among children, told ABC’s Good Morning America, “We are hospitalizing record numbers of children. Half of the children in our hospital today are under two years of age. Most of the others are between five and ten years of age—too young to be vaccinated just yet.”
Dr. John Brownstein, an epidemiologist at Boston Children’s Hospital, has warned that children will soon become the “main vectors of virus spread” because they are the “remaining population ineligible for the vaccine.”
This, many health experts warn, could cause the Delta variant to smolder among children populations across the country and lead to new mutations of the virus as it jumps from children to unvaccinated adults. This may set the stage for yet another mutation of COVID 19 that can ultimately become vaccine resistant.
The BPHC data released last Friday showed Beacon Hill, North End, Back Bay, West End and Downtown had an infection rate of 663.1 cases per 10,000 residents–a 1.4 percent increase from the 653.7 cases per 10,000 residents reported on July 23.
Fifty-two additional residents have been infected with the virus between July 30 and August 6 and the total number of cases in the area increased to 3,695 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 1 percent since August 6 and went from 72,422 cases to 73,343 confirmed cases in a week. There were no additional deaths in Boston from the virus in the past two weeks and the total deaths from COVID remains at 1,400.