For weeks Jamaica Plain’s COVID 19 positive test rate was virtually nonexistent but it seems the party is over as infections continue to rise.
Health officials are ringing the alarm and trying to get a handle on the Delta variant of the virus that has caused breakthrough infections among vaccinated residents and is decimating the unvaccinated population across the city, state and country. In Boston the positive test rate has neared 4 percent since July 30.
According to the weekly report released last Friday released by the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), 1,699 Jamaica Plain residents were tested last week and 3.4 percent were found to be positive. This was a 26 percent increase from the 2.7 percent that tested positive between July 9 and July 16. The report released on July 16 was the first time the number of Jamaica Plain residents testing positive spiked above 1 percent in weeks.
Of the 41,523 Jamaica Plain residents tested for COVID since the pandemic began, 7.5 percent overall were found to be positive–this was a 1.3 percentage decrease from the 7.6 percent reported by the BPHC on July 16.
Citywide, the weekly positive test rate increased nearly 30 percent last week. According to the BPHC 18,232 residents were tested and 3.7 percent were COVID positive–this was a 28 percent increase from the 2.9 percent reported by the BPHC two weeks ago.
The CDC is still studying the effects of the Delta variant on the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, especially children.
Dr. Mark Kline, the physician in chief of Children’s Hospital in New Orleans, which has some of the highest COVID infections among children, told ABC’s Good Morning America, “We are hospitalizing record numbers of children. Half of the children in our hospital today are under two years of age. Most of the others are between five and ten years of age—too young to be vaccinated just yet.”
Dr. John Brownstein, an epidemiologist at Boston Children’s Hospital, has warned that children will soon become the “main vectors of virus spread” because they are the “remaining population ineligible for the vaccine.”
This, many health experts warn, could cause the Delta variant to smolder among children populations across the country and lead to new mutations of the virus as it jumps from children to unvaccinated adults. This may set the stage for yet another mutation of COVID 19 that can ultimately become vaccine resistant.
According to the BPHC data, Jamaica Plain’s infection rate increased 4 percent since July 16 and went from 739.2 cases per 10,000 residents to 769.5 cases per 10,000 residents.
One hundred twenty two additional Jamaica Plain residents became infected with COVID-19 since July 16 and the number of total cases here went from 2,985 cases to 3,107 cases in the neighborhood.
The statistics released by the BPHC as part of its weekly COVID19 report breaks down the number of cases and infection rates in each neighborhood. It also breaks down the number of cases by age, gender and race. Citywide positive cases of coronavirus increased 1.5 percent since August 6 and went from 72,422 cases to 73,531 confirmed cases in a week. There were no additional deaths in Boston from the virus in the past week and the total deaths from COVID remains at 1,400.