Weekly COVID-19 positive test rate decreases

Last week Beacon Hill’s cumulative COVID-19 positive test rate increased slightly  but the weekly positive test rate continues to decrease steadily. 

According to the latest data released by the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) last Friday, overall since the pandemic started 45,302 Beacon Hill, Back Bay, North End, West End and Downtown residents have been tested for COVID-19 and the data shows that 6 percent of those tested were COVID positive–this was a 5.3 percentage increase from the 5.7 percent reported by the BPHC two weeks ago. 

Last week 2,821 residents were tested and only 1.9 percent were positive–a 37 percent decrease from the 3 percent reported two Fridays ago. 

Citywide, ​​​29,757 residents were tested and 3.8 percent were COVID positive–a 21 percent decrease from the 4.8 percent testing positive two weeks ago. 

At a press briefing last Thursday Mayor Martin Walsh said the average number of positive tests recorded each day was 209. That’s down by about 13 percent from the week before, and daily new cases have continued to go down since early January.

“Our current community positivity rate was 4.8 percent,” said Walsh. “That’s below our 5 percent threshold, and the lowest positivity we’ve seen since October. The rate went down in every neighborhood, and every neighborhood is now below 8 percent, which is good news. An average of 4,263 people were tested each day. That’s up by 3 percent over the week before and does not include college testing.”

The Mayor said Boston continues to work with the State on the vaccine rollout. 

“On Wednesday, the Governor announced that, as of February 18, anyone 65 or older, or who has two or more qualifying medical conditions, is now eligible for the vaccine,” said Walsh. 

The Mayor noted that moderate and severe asthma are now included in that list of conditions, which is a good thing. 

“This was an important decision, to ensure that more residents of color who face elevated risk are eligible sooner,” said Walsh. “In addition, everyone in Phase 1 continues to be eligible if you have not been vaccinated yet — including health care workers, first responders, and residents and staff in long-term care and congregate care settings.”

The full updated schedule is at Mass.gov/CovidVaccine.

Walsh said the City of Boston will continue to advocate on behalf of Boston residents, and increase equity in this process for any resident or community that may face barriers. He said the City is focusing on access in the Black community; the Latino community; the Asian community; and our immigrant communities. 

“We’re also focusing on access for elderly residents and those with disabilities,” he said. “We’re doing targeted outreach to these communities through City departments, Community Health Centers, and nonprofit partners.”

The infection rate in Beacon Hill and surrounding neighborhoods increased 6.7 percent in one week according to the latest city statistics. 

The BPHC data released last Friday showed Beacon Hill, Back Bay, North End, West End and Downtown had an infection rate of 480.9  cases per 10,000 residents, up 6.7 percent from 450.6 cases per 10,000 residents. 

An additional 169 residents became infected with the virus last week and the total number of cases in the area increased from 2,511cases to 2,680 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 3 percent  percent last week and went from  56,079 cases to 57,794 confirmed cases in a week. Thirty-seven additional Boston residents died from the virus last week and there are now 1,251 total deaths in the city from COVID. 

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