Mayor Walsh said today that Boston's positive Covid-19 test rate jumped to 3.5% for the week ending Sept. 26, up from 2.7% the week before - and that the rates in East Boston, 02125 in Dorchester and 02121 in Dorchester and Roxbury are now at 7%.
The statewide rate is now at 1%.
Walsh said he expects the state to color Boston red on its Covid risk maps with the release this afternoon of its weekly community data. The color means Boston is now showing at least 8 new daily cases per 100,000 residents.
Because of the number, Walsh said he is not following the state's lead in re-opening: Indoor performance venues in Boston will remain shut, there will be no increase in maximum numbers at outdoor venues and laser-tag and other indoor entertainment venues will remain shut. However, starting next month, two people will be allowed to share a golf cart at the city's two golf courses, he said.
Walsh said the return of college students has been partly to blame - although he credited local schools with doing an excellent job with testing and isolating infected students - but also the return of parties, in particular in Allston/Brighton, Mission Hill and South Boston. He urged people to stop holding parties and said people who get invites should do the right thing and not go.
He added that 50% of all new cases are among the city's Latino residents - and that 50% are in people 29 or younger.
"We're seeing small parties due to parties, due to college students and due to irresponsibility." Addressing college freshmen and sophomores, he said he's frustrated, they came here to live in Boston and be treated like adults.
"Well, then act like it," and stop threatening the health of Boston residents and the viability of businesses across Boston. Yeah, you might not get deathly sick, but you'll spread it to your parents, your grandparents, that lady in the supermarket "you cough on."
Walsh said that in addition to East Boston and the two Dorchester Zip codes, Allston/Brighton, Roxbury, Mattapan, Roslindale, South Boston and 02122 and 02124 have positive test rates above 4%. He said Roxbury, South End, Jamaica Plain, Charlestown, Back Bay and Fenway are under 3%.
The mayor said that BPS's phase in of "hybrid" learning, where students spend some time in classrooms, will still begin tomorrow, starting with high-risk students. He said he will not look at going back to all remote learning again until the citywide testing rate exceeds 4% or public-health experts give him a good reason to. He added parents can opt out of hybrid scheduling.
Walsh added the city got a new shipment of 10,000 Chromebooks this week for distribution to students who need them.
He said that so far, attendance in remote classes is about 90% - about the same amount as schools had when classes were held entirely in schools.