Charlestown Cases Reported at 73, Still Low Compared to City ‘Hot Spots’

The numbers of cases and the infection rates in Charlestown continue to be on the lower end of the spectrum when compared to the rest of Boston, and to the Town’s neighbors to the north – Everett and Chelsea.

According to neighborhood date released on Friday, as of 2:43 p.m. on April 16, Charlestown had 73 cases for an infection rate of 37.6 per 10,000 residents. That was the third lowest rate in the city behind Downtown/Back Bay/Beacon Hill at 33.2 per 10,000 and Fenway at 16.6 per 10,000. Charlestown did have the fewest confirmed cases of any neighborhood in Boston.

There have been 337 people tested in Charlestown, and 22 percent of those have been positive for COVID-19. By far, Charlestown is the neighborhood with the fewest numbers of residents having been tested. The next closest is the Fenway with 556 tested and a positive rate of 17.3 percent.

The highest positive rates were in Mattapan, with 48.2 percent out of 645 testing positive, and East Boston, with 47.2 percent out of 907 testing positive. There were 687 tests on Boston residents that were not assigned to a neighborhood. The average positive testing rate citywide was 33.5 percent.

That was a welcome sign in the Town as people continued to social distance and wear masks in public. Many have been able to transition to working from home, and fewer of those living in Charlestown are essential workers who have to report to a job or take public transit – two major factors in communities where cases tend to spike.

The hot spots in the City were Hyde Park, the South End, Mattapan and East Boston. The South End is explained through the testing of homeless and drug-dependent in that neighborhood, whose positive tests are attributed to Boston Medical Center or Pine Street Inn. However, those in Hyde Park (120.7 per 10,000), Mattapan (100.7 per 10,000) and East Boston (87.4 per 10,000) were attributed to the fact that many essential workers live in those neighborhoods, are low-income, communities of color and are required to report to work – largely taking public transit.

Citywide, as of April 21, there were 6,010 confirmed cases, with 1,142 having recovered and 196 resident having died.

The most recent neighborhood numbers were different in that it broke out confirmed cases and deaths by race, exposing a huge contrast between communities of color and white and Asian communities. The difference was particularly noticeable in confirmed cases amongst African Americans and blacks. The numbers were only citywide, not by neighborhood, for race, and were a bit flawed because 30 percent of the confirmed cases in Boston had an unknown race.

That said the Black/African American confirmed case rate was 41 percent of the total cases, while Whites made up 27 percent and Latinos 17 percent. Asian residents accounted for just 3 percent, and Other was at 10 percent. The 41 percent for Black/African Americans far outpaced their actual percentage of the population.

For deaths, though, the numbers were a little more balanced, though still 20 percent of deaths in Boston had no known race.

Whites made up 41 percent (65) of the deaths in Boston, while Black/African Americans made up 31 percent (49). Latino residents had 12 percent of the deaths (19) and Asian residents were at 13 percent (20). There were a total of 196 deaths and 159 of them had a known race or ethnicity.

Particularly concerning was the surging infection rate for those age 80 and over in Boston. That rate nearly doubled in one week and is now at 238.2 per 10,000 residents. The infection rate is above 111.5 per 10,000 for everyone over 50, and the virus seems to be particularly active in those 60 and above.

“There continues to be a low percentage of Boston resident COVID-19 cases under 20 years of age,” read the report. “Nearly 35 percent of COVID-19 cases were in persons age 60 years and above. In general, COVID-19 rates increase with age.”

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