Walsh: COVID case numbers ‘concerning,’ hospitalizations nearing spring peak

Mayor Martin J. Walsh on Thursday said the recent coronavirus case numbers in Boston are “concerning,” while the number of hospitalized COVID patients across the city is nearing peak levels that were seen in the spring.

“Our case numbers are concerning. Our hospital numbers are higher than we would like,” Walsh said during a press conference at City Hall. “It’s the highest we’ve seen in quite sometime, since almost the beginning of the first surge.”

Ninety-eight percent of adult-use, non-surge ICU beds are currently occupied, Walsh noted.

Boston averaged 542 new positive tests each day for the week ending on Jan. 7, which was up about 25 percent from the week prior, according to Walsh.

The city’s positivity rate is sitting at 8.7 percent, a number that has remained the same for about two weeks.

East Boston, Dorchester, Hyde Park, and Mattapan continue to have the highest positivity rates in the city.

“We need everybody to continue to do your part. I know everybody is tired,” Walsh said. “We have to stay focused…Everybody should be thinking about the simple steps they can take on a daily basis to avoid the spread of COVID-19.”

As of Thursday, Walsh said the city is not looking into reopening Boston Hope, a field hospital that was launched in the spring as cases and hospitalizations surged.

“Boston has been knocked down before but we always get back up,” Walsh said. “In 2021, Boston will rise up again.”

Walsh blamed the recent holiday season for a spike in the coronavirus numbers.

He also urged residents to continue get tested if they feel ill.