Testing Continues to Lag, But Cases Still Lowest in Boston

The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Charlestown remained the lowest of any City neighborhood in the latest Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) data, but the amounts of testing in the Town is also the lowest by a long shot.

Charlestown was logged in at 140 positive COVID-19 cases as of 1:30 p.m. on May 7 in figures released late last Friday, as has been customary over the last several weeks. That resulted in a very low rate of infection at 72.1 per 10,000 residents. Once again, only Downtown/Back Bay/Fenway (58.9 per 10,000) and Fenway (41.7 per 10,000) had lower infection rates.

That said, Charlestown still lagged far behind most every neighborhood in the numbers of residents tested, making some wonder if the low numbers are a result simply of fewer infections or just insufficient testing.

Testing has ramped up significantly in many neighborhoods, where more than 3,000 or 4,000 residents have been tested in some neighborhoods. However, in Charlestown there are still under 1,000 residents who have been tested, coming in at 757 people tested as of May 7. That was only 200 or so more than the previous week, and it was the lowest number in the City and the only one below 1,000. The next lowest was Fenway with 1,278 tested, and then West Roxbury with 1,414 tested. Most had at least twice as many people tested as the Town.

That said, the percentage of those testing positive was quite low, at 18.5 percent, also perhaps indicating that testing could be less of a dire need.

East Boston, though close to Charlestown in proximity, still told a radically different story of COVID-19.

By May 7, some 3,053 people had been tested, with a positive rate of 38.7 percent. That was down about 10 percent from last week, when Eastie tested at nearly a 50 percent rate. Despite that, there were more than 1,000 more positive cases in Eastie than Charlestown. There, they had 1,187 cases for a rate of 252.9 per 10,000, the second highest rate in the entire city.

Hyde Park had the highest infection rate, with 260.1 per 10,000.

One interesting note released this week is that 48 percent of the deaths in Boston, and there were 533 deaths as of May 12, happened in nursing home facilities.

•Cases by Gender Evens Out

For the first time since the pandemic hit, the infection rate by gender in Boston has pretty much evened out.

The infection rate citywide for men was 154 per 10,000, and for women it was 153.9 per 10,000. Typically, men have displayed a higher rate of infection.

•Age and COVID-19

The age group with the most cases by percentage in the city are those 50-59 years old, with 17.2 percent of the cases. Second highest were those 30-39 years old with 15.8 percent, followed by those 40-49 years old at 15.1 percent.

The infection rates pretty much followed the same gradual incline as age increased, though it is clear the disease is particularly dangerous for those age 80 and over.

The infection rate was 561.4 per 10,000 for those 80 and over, which was much higher than those just 70-79, who came in at 302.2 per 10,000.

•Cases by Race

The COVID-19 virus still has hit the Black/African American community the hardest citywide, with 29.3 percent of the total cases – though there is incomplete data on race with 25.5 percent of the total confirmed cases unknown by race. Black/African Americans, however, had the second highest rate of deaths (182/35 percent). The highest numbers of deaths were of white residents (224/44 percent).

There were 20.2 percent of the cases who were white, and 14.8 percent who were Latino.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.