BOSTON — With college students back in town, the number of daily tests in Boston has about doubled, Mayor Marty Walsh said on Tuesday.
Each day the city tests nearly 3,000 people and about 1.7% of them test positive, but that rate has been dropping for a couple of weeks. In the last week of August, we were at 2.7% but Walsh says we shouldn’t get too excited about those numbers.
“We’re asking people to continually wash hands, avoid large gatherings we saw one over this weekend, a large gathering in I believe it was in Dorchester,” said Walsh. “Those are dangerous. Those are dangerous not only to have the large gatherings, but they are dangerous for you. They are dangerous for people around you.”
While most of the city has a positive rate of less than 2%, there are several communities bringing the rate up. The highest rates are in Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, Dorchester, and East Boston which has the worst positive rate in the city at 8.7%. That more than doubles the next closest community.
Given the numbers are so high in East Boston, the city has implemented a free neighborhood testing center. No appointment is necessary but you should call 311 to pre-register.
“I want to, again, make it clear that anyone can get tested regardless of immigration status,” said Walsh. “East Boston is going in the right direction, and we’re going to continue to make all the supports available to bring that number down.”
The city has also distributed over 2,000 COVID-19 kits with cleaning supplies and information throughout East Boston.
Walsh says that, because the city began focusing its attention on the 8.7% rate in East Boston, its actually gone down from 11.4% compared to a few weeks ago. Still, it will take everyone’s participation to get back to the old normal.
“COVID-19 is still very much with us,” Walsh said. “And we’re asking people to use precautions that we’ve been taking, and continue to take those necessary steps.”
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