Charlestown Infection Rates Remain Low, Though Testing Levels Are Lowest in the City

Charlestown still has the fewest cases of COVID-19 of any neighborhood in Boston, but at the same time, it has had the fewest numbers of people tested (by far) of any neighborhood in Boston.

The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) put out its weekly neighborhood COVID-19 data on Friday, with statistics valid as of April 30 at 2:30 p.m. In those statistics, Charlestown had 119 positive cases and an infection rate of 61.3 per 10,000. That was the fewest number of cases in the city, and it was only behind Fenway (32.2 per 10,000) and Downtown/Back Bay/Beacon Hill (53.7 per 10,000). That put the neighborhood as one of the least affected purely residential areas in the city, but there is also one caveat to that rate.

There haven’t been very many people in Charlestown tested, making some wonder if the numbers of cases and the rate might not grow higher if more testing were conducted.

By leaps and bounds, most other neighborhoods have had far more testing conducted. BPHC data showed that 534 residents have been tested, with a 21.5 percent rate of positive cases. That was a very low positive rate, once again, but most neighborhoods have had far more testing. The next lowest neighborhood is Fenway and it has nearly had twice as many people tested, at 889 tests and a positive rate of 17.2 percent.

Other neighborhood like Hyde Park have had more than 2,500 tests conducted, and thus have a lot of cases and a higher infection rate. East Boston has the highest positive test rate in the city, at 45.5 percent, but it has tested 2,065 people. No other neighborhood aside from Charlestown and Fenway have tested fewer than 1,000 residents right now.

City leaders have indicated they are working on a testing site in Charlestown, but by press time, there had been no new information shared with the newspaper about progress on that.

So, while the numbers for Charlestown remain low, there is a possibility that the reassuring numbers could be false security until much more testing here is done on the population to know just how many people really are infected.

•In other news from the data released on Friday, there still is a skyrocketing infection rate for older adults citywide in Boston. For those over 80, the rate is now 495.7 per 10,000. That’s much higher than even those 70-79, who logged a rate of 270.8 per 10,000.

The infections rates were all more than 200 per 10,000 for those in Boston age 50 and older.

More than one in three COVID-19 cases were in persons age 60 and above.

Meanwhile, the rates for younger people are very low still, at 20.1 per 10,000 for age 0-19, and 80.1 per 10,000 for those 20-29. The most cases by number come from those age 50-59, who account for 17.4 percent of all cases.

Gender-wise, there are actually more women than men with the virus, some 49.6 percent being women and 47.2 percent being men. However, the infection rate for men is slightly higher than for women.

The racial statistics still show many more Black/African American residents who have the virus than any other racial group, accounting for 29.3 percent of infections. Whites accounted for 20 percent, and Latino residents accounted for 14.1 percent, with Asians logging 2.3 percent of cases.

Racial data is incomplete though, with 26.6 percent of cases having no racial information available.

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