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Masks Mandatory in Public Starting May 6th As Cases Continue to Surge [COVID-19 Weekly Report]

There has been a 37% increase in COVID-19 cases among Boston residents from the previous week, according to the most recent data published by the city health officials. (Approximately 300 new cases reflect data from an earlier period due to lab reporting delays.) The number of positive coronavirus test results for the week ending in May 1st stand at 9,590 with 410 total deaths. There were 178 new deaths, representing about a 61% increase from last week.

COVID-19 Neighborhood Map May 1 2020

The most recent report from the Boston Public Health Commission (this excludes data from May 1st, 2020) shows that the downtown neighborhoods of the North End, Downtown, Back Bay, and Beacon Hill reported a total of 299 positive cases of COVID-19, which is a rate of 53.7 per 10,000 residents. In the previous weekly report, there were 236 positive cases. Within the city, the downtown neighborhoods, Charlestown, Jamaica Plain, Allston/Brighton and South Boston have relatively lower incidence rates while Dorchester, East Boston, Hyde Park, Mattapan, Roslindale, Roxbury, and the South End continue to be among the hardest-hit areas.

With warm weather in this weekend’s forecast, Mayor Marty Walsh addressed Bostonians who have failed to properly socially distance and wear face coverings in public, specifically younger people. He urged those who encounter a crowded park to “turn around and leave” in order to protect themselves and their families.

Governor Charlie Baker passed an order on Friday afternoon requiring face coverings in public places, which will go into effect on May 6th. This would not apply to children younger than two years old and those with medical conditions that would restrict their ability to wear a mask. Earlier this week, the Baker-Polito administration determined that the non-essential business closures would be extended until May 18th.

Mayor Walsh stated on Friday afternoon in his coronavirus update for Boston that there have been discussions about reopening. However, he warned that this can only happen if people follow the guidance to reduce the spread of the virus.

Massachusetts has continued to increase testing across the state, processing between 8,000 to 13,000 tests per day in the past week. There are currently 64,311 total positive cases in the state. There have been 289,636 total processed tests in the Commonwealth, meaning 22% of those tested have returned with a positive result.

Coronavirus-related deaths saw a spike on Wednesday with 252 deaths in one day, marking a new high for the state. The current total of deaths in Massachusetts stands at 3,716. About 58% of those deaths are attributed to long-term care facilities with 2,189 reported.

While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hit Boston’s nursing homes and assisted living facilities, the pressure for transparent reporting has continued to grow. The Boston City Council discussed the need for better reporting from these facilities to residents’ family members and the community at their Wednesday meeting.

Following three resident deaths earlier in the pandemic, the North End Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center (formerly known as the North End Nursing Home) reported it tested all 90+ residents last week resulting in two additional positive cases for the coronavirus. Although these two residents are asymptomatic, they have been quarantined and are being treated.