Nearly 1 in 3 COVID-19 tests positive in Boston this week, up 10% from last week

ROXBURY, Mass. — As COVID-19 cases continue to climb across the country, Boston is seeing a spike in positive cases.

The executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission, Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, said since last Friday, the city’s positive test rate is 31.9% -- up from 22% the week prior.

Ojikutu also said adult COVID-19 hospitalizations in Boston are up 50% from the previous week and COVID-19 emergency room visits are up 30%.

“What do we do?” Ojikutu asked at a press conference at a vaccine clinic in Roxbury Saturday. “At this time, first we continue to do everything that we are currently doing: Increasing access to vaccines and boosters. Second, we’ve all seen the long lines for testing. This is completely unacceptable, so we are working diligently to increase access to testing throughout the city of Boston.”

Ojikutu pointed to new testing sites and expanded hours at some sites in the city. Testing has been expanded at the Anna Cole Community Center and is now available Monday to Thursday 12-7 p.m., Friday 12-5 p.m., and Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. A new testing site at the West End House Boys & Girls Club is now operating Monday to Friday 6:30 - 10:30 a.m. and Saturday 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Ojikutu spoke at a vaccine clinic at the Madison Park Technical Vocational School in Roxbury. The clinic comes exactly one week ahead of a new vaccine mandate in Boston.

Boston’s B Together initiative will require individuals to show proof of vaccination to enter certain indoor spaces, including restaurants, bars, gyms, entertainment venues, and more.

“What I hope is that people take this opportunity to get vaccinated given that they limit their ability to access entertainment, to access restaurants, and access gyms, so that’s our goal,” said Ojikutu. “We’re hoping for the best, and I think we’re putting out the message that this is what we’re trying to do as a city.”

Ojikutu said, currently 69% of Bostonians are fully-vaccinated. The Boston Public Health Commission began hosting mass vaccination clinics in early December, and since then, the number of boosted residents has increased by nearly 70%. Even still, just about 41% of Bostonians have received their booster.

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