With the neighborhood and city’s weekly COVID positive test rate still climbing, the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) is recommending residents take precautions to stop the spread.
The BPHC also renewed its recommendation that masks be worn in indoor public settings, including public transportation and transportation hubs, government buildings, and crowded indoor venues. The recommendation is especially important for those who are at high risk for severe illness or who live with someone who is high risk.
“With COVID-19 cases rising, we are urging all Bostonians to take extra precautions to protect yourselves, your family, and our community. If you are feeling unwell, get tested at one of our free City sites or take a rapid test. It’s also important to stay up to date on your vaccinations,” said Executive Director of the BPHC Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, “We are recommending that individuals protect themselves and others by masking indoors, particularly in crowded places. These precautions are how we protect the progress we’ve made in our community.”
Last week, 1,282 Beacon Hill, Back Bay, Downtown, North End and West End residents were tested for the virus last week and 10.4 percent were positive–this was a 53 percent increase from the 6.8 percent that tested positive as reported by the BPHC on April 25.
One hundred thirty three additional residents contracted the virus between April 25 and May 2 and there are now 10,104 confirmed cases in the neighborhood since the start of the pandemic.
Boston’s citywide weekly positive test rate also increased last week and is still above the 5 percent threshold.
According to the BPHC 16,256 residents were tested citywide last week and 7.8 percent were COVID positive–this was a 13 percent increase from the 6.9 percent that reportedly tested positive for the week ending on April 25.
The BPHC reported there has been a 65 percent increase in COVID-19 cases over the past three weeks.
Health experts are saying the new subvariant of the omicron strain, known as BA.2, is now the dominant strain in the US and 30 percent more infectious than the BA.1 omicron strain responsible for the last surge.
Dr. Ojikutu and the BPHC also reported last week the amount of COVID-19 particles in local wastewater samples has increased by 109 percent over a 14-day period, suggesting that cases could continue to rise in the coming weeks. New hospitalizations have also slowly risen in Boston during this time period.
With higher transmission levels, wearing a mask can prevent individuals from getting sick, testing can help stop the spread of COVID-19, and vaccination with boosting reduces the risk of severe illness and hospitalization.
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 1.5 percent last week and went from 175,628 to 178,291 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.
There were four additional deaths in Boston from the virus in the past week and the total number of COVID deaths is now at 1,458.