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Massachusetts Sees Uptick In Cases; Mayor Walsh Says Increase Not a Concern in Boston [COVID-19 Weekly Update]

There were eight new COVID-19 cases this week in the Downtown, North End, Beacon Hill, and Back Bay neighborhoods, according to the Boston Public Health Commission’s weekly report through July 30th. The total number of cases for the downtown neighborhoods stands at 519, a rate of 93.1 per 10,000 residents. About 1.6% of all Emergency Department visits were for COVID-19-like-illness, a slight decrease from 1.9% the prior week.

The City of Boston has 14,138 cases of COVID-19 with 194 new cases this week according to Boston’s COVID-19 tracking dashboardMayor Marty Walsh stated that the increase in numbers seem to be contributed to delayed reporting from local hospitals. There were four new deaths in Boston with the total number standing at 730.

“There appears to be a small uptick in the state’s numbers and we’re watching those closely, but nothing that, today, causes any concern here in Boston or the Commonwealth,” stated Mayor Walsh during his press conference on Friday afternoon, pointing to the City’s positive trends over a seven day period.

Beginning on Saturday, August 1st, all visitors and returning residents must complete a travel form upon reentering the state and quarantine for fourteen days. Exceptions apply to those who can provide a negative result from the last 72 hours, are traveling from other low-risk states, cross state lines regularly, or are receiving medical care in the Commonwealth.

Those who do not comply face a $500 fine per day.

Over the last few days, the positive test rate for COVID-19 in Massachusetts has increased to 2%, prompting state officials to launch a new tracing program and awareness campaign. Officials have committed to tracing large gatherings to monitor potential case clusters. Governor Baker also announced the Commonwealth’s new awareness campaign #MaskUpMA to remind residents to wear face coverings as a way to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

“We’re obviously monitoring this closely, but simply put it’s a reminder to us all that COVID’s not taking the summer off and we must all respect the virus,” stated Governor Baker during his press conference on Friday afternoon.

Governor Baker acknowledged residents’ frustrations with the ongoing shutdown, but pointed at recent reports of large gatherings where people failed to wear face coverings or socially distance. Several case clusters have been traced to house parties, a graduation party, an unauthorized football camp, and a lifeguard party, according to Governor Baker.

“Unfortunately these gatherings are resulting in new COVID case clusters and ramping up the spread of the virus,” he warned, urging residents to continue the hard work the Commonwealth has put into controlling the virus for months.

Massachusetts currently has 109,787 total confirmed positive cases and 7,825 presumptive cases according to the most recent dataThere were 2,627 new COVID-19 cases reported this week with 737 of those being probable cases. There have been 8,609 total deaths with 111 new deaths among confirmed and presumptive cases.