Last week the North End’s weekly COVID-19 positive test rate decreased after posting a 5.8 percent increase three weeks ago.
According to the latest data released by the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) last Friday, 2,145 residents were tested and 3.1 percent were positive–this was a 3 percent decrease from the 3.2 percent reported by the BPHC two Fridays ago. The area experienced a 17.2 percent and then a 5.8 percent increase week over week since the beginning of April.
Overall since the pandemic started 49,923 North End, Beacon Hill, Back Bay, West End and Downtown residents have been tested for COVID-19 and the data shows that 6.8 percent of those tested were COVID positive. This was the same percentage reported by the BPHC two weeks ago.
Citywide, the weekly positive test rate decreased for another week and is now well below the 5 percent threshold.
With COVID numbers declining Acting Mayor Kim Janey announced Tuesday that the City of Boston will move into a modified version of the state’s current phase of the Reopening Massachusetts plan, effective Friday, April 30.
However, according to Janey, Boston will delay most of the state’s reopening guidance by three weeks, in an effort to accommodate the unique preparations needed by the City.
In late March, the City announced that it would not move forward with additional reopening steps until the citywide positivity rate remained at or below 2.75 percent for two consecutive weeks. It is currently at 3.6 percent.
Janey said the latest modified update will support Boston’s economic recovery as COVID-19 health metrics continue to improve.
“In every aspect of Boston’s reopening, we will take the right measures, at the right time, to protect our people and businesses,” said Janey. “As we look ahead to better days, we must remember that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over. Reopening our economy does not remove our personal and collective responsibility to remain vigilant. Thank you to all Bostonians for your continued efforts and cooperation as we reopen our city.”
Below are the modified plans that go into effect this week:
Effective Friday, April 30, the City of Boston will align with Commonwealth’s updated Face Coverings Order. This states that face coverings will be required at all times at indoor and outdoor venues and events, except when eating or drinking. Face coverings are recommended to be worn both inside and outside during small gatherings at private homes. Face coverings are not required outside in public spaces when individuals are able to remain at a safe distance from others.
Also effective April 30, public gatherings in Boston may increase to 100 people indoors and 150 people outdoors, in alignment with the Commonwealth’s previously announced limits. In Boston, all private gatherings and events in private residences will remain subject to current capacity limits of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. However, public and private gathering limits will increase to 200 people indoors and 250 people outdoors on June 19 in Boston, three weeks after the higher limits go into effect in other parts of the Commonwealth. The City of Boston and the Boston Public Health Commission will continue to closely monitor public health data and adjust reopening plans as necessary.
The BPHC data released last Friday showed North End, Beacon Hill, Back Bay, West End and Downtown had an infection rate of 613.3 cases per 10,000 residents, up 2 percent from the 601 cases per 10,000 residents reported two weeks ago.
An additional 69 residents became infected with the virus last week and the total number of cases in the area increased from 3,349 cases to 3418 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 1.7 percent percent last week and went from 67,685 cases to 68,885 confirmed cases in a week. Four additional Boston residents died from the virus last week and there are now 1,364 total deaths in the city from COVID