With Boston’s weekly COVID positive test rate falling below 5 percent for the first time in months, Mayor Michelle Wu and Dr. Bisola Ojikutu announced last week that the City’s “B Together” policy, which requires patrons and staff of certain indoor spaces to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19, would be lifted effective immediately.
“The public health data shows that we’re ready to take this step in our recovery,” said Mayor Wu. “This news highlights how much progress we’ve made in our fight against COVID-19 thanks to vaccines & boosters—which have always been our most effective weapon against the pandemic. It’s a win for every Bostonian who’s done their part to keep our communities safe, and we have to keep going. I want to thank all of our small businesses who have been working to keep our communities healthy through challenging times.”
Public health data shows Boston has a 4.6% community positivity rate, a 90.7% occupancy rate of adult ICU beds, and 7-day average of adult COVID-19 hospitalizations at 195.9 per day, falling below all three previously announced thresholds.
“I’m encouraged by our COVID-19 data and optimistic about where our city is headed. The City’s COVID-19 response has been guided by science throughout the pandemic, and we will continue to make data-driven decisions in our mitigation and response strategies in order to keep everyone safe,” said Commissioner of Public Health and Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) Dr. Ojikutu. “The Boston Public Health Commission remains focused on ensuring equitable access to vaccination and supporting communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.”
However, Wu and Ojikutu said the City’s mask mandate for indoor spaces, including schools, remains in effect until further notice.
According to the BPHC 14,734 residents were tested citywide last week and 4.6 percent were COVID positive–this was a 33 percent decrease from the 6.9 percent that reportedly tested positive for the week ending on February 14. The weekly positive test rate has now decreased 57 percent in Boston since February 7.
According to the weekly report released Monday by the BPHC, 1,260 Beacon Hill, North End, Back Bay, West End and Downtown residents were tested and 4.4 percent were positive. This was a 2 percent increase from the 4.3 percent that tested positive between February 7 and February 14.
Fifty five additional residents have been infected with the virus between February 14 and February 21 and the total number of cases in the area increased to 8,345 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 0.64 percent last week and went from 162,683 cases to 163,720 confirmed cases in a week.
There were 19 additional deaths in Boston from the virus in the past week and the total COVID deaths is now at 1,697. Deaths decreased 14 percent in Boston last week with three less deaths than the 22 deaths reported by the BPHC two weeks ago.