Three weeks after the city’s “B Together” policy, which required patrons and staff of certain indoor spaces to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19, was canceled and a week after the city’s indoors mask mandate was lifted, the weekly positive test rate in Charlestown and the city increased slightly. While new cases were on a steady decline for weeks now, the recent uptick in cases in some neighborhoods is something city health officials are sure to keep a watchful eye on and make adjustments if needed.
However, Mayor Michelle Wu and Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, Commissioner of Public Health and Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission, announced last week Boston’s COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Declaration will end on April 1, 2022. The announcement follows a vote by the Boston Board of Health during their meeting last Wednesday. “Today’s announcement is a testament to how Boston came together in a historically challenging time to lift up public health and community,” said Wu.
“As we transition to this next phase of living with COVID, we will focus on providing the testing, resources, and planning to keep our communities safe and prepared.” Last week, 303 Charlestown residents were tested for the virus last week and 3.3 percent were positive–this was a 3 percent decrease from the 3.2 percent that tested positive as reported by the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) on March 7.
Ten additional residents contracted the virus between March 7 and March 14 and there are now 3,689 confirmed cases in the neighborhood since the start of the pandemic. According to the BPHC 12,655 residents were tested citywide last week and 2.4 percent were COVID positive–this was a 4 percent increase from the 2.3 percent that reportedly tested positive for the week ending on March 7. 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 0.38 percent last week and went from 166,087 cases to 166,722 confirmed 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 1,431. Deaths decreased 55.5 percent in Boston last week with five less deaths compared to the nine deaths reported by the BPHC two weeks ago. “While the City of Boston is no longer in a state of emergency, we must continue to protect our most vulnerable residents and prepare for the future,” said Dr. Ojikutu. “Now is the time for us to use all of the lessons learned from the pandemic, strengthen community partnerships, develop stronger public health infrastructure, and ensure an equitable recovery for all.”