For the first time since Mayor Martin Walsh rolled out new COVID-19 measures and ‘thresholds of concern’ in October, the percentage of empty adult hospital beds has fallen below the city’s red line, with only 4% free.
This is from Friday, the most recent date for which data is available in Saturday’s semi-weekly city report. The worry threshold is 5% free, which the city has been approaching in spurts for the past few months. The percentages had hovered in the 1980s in October before starting to climb slowly and steadily.
The other main inpatient metric, the percentage of available beds in intensive care units, crossed its own threshold a month ago and again trended down last week. It’s now 14% available, well below the 20% line set by the city.
As testing dropped over the holidays, the average seven-day positive percentage rate continued to rise. According to the most recent comprehensive data available, which dates from last Sunday, 8.9% of tests came back positive. That number had steadily increased until this new high after falling to nearly 6% in mid-December.
The city has been above its 5% threshold for two months.
Boston has recorded a total of 45,589 cases and 1,033 deaths from the virus. The city of about 700,000 inhabitants estimates that at least 8,591 inhabitants are carriers of the virus.
Walsh this week extended the rollback of the city’s coronavirus reopening by three weeks. The mayor had reduced the city to a modified three-week version of Phase 2, Stage 2 of the state’s plan to reopen in December, which means museums, cinemas, aquariums and other indoor gathering spaces have had to close, although meals could continue. .
Tuesday, the day before the “break” was due to end, Walsh extended it until January 27. The mayor said that at that point they would reassess, and he said “I hope and pray” that things will be headed in the right direction and then he can drop the suspension.