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Hyde Park once again has city's highest coronavirus rate; could it be related to the high percentage of people there who work in healthcare and related fields?

Maps showing Covid-19 and healthcare employment rates

Rate of positive coronavirus test results and map showing highest concentration of healthcare workers

Boston Public Health Commission figures released yesterday show that, once again, Hyde Park has the highest rate of residents who have tested positive for Covid-19.

Compare the BPHC map with a map (4.5M PDF) from a new Boston Planning and Development Agency report on the economic impacts of Covid-19 that shows the percentages of residents by census tract who work in "healthcare and social assistance."

That map shows a band of census tracts in which between 25 and 36% of employed residents work in these fields, from Hyde Park up through Mattapan and Dorchester, and including part of Roslindale - all areas that also have higher rates of Covid-19 infection than citywide numbers. The numbers - 120.7 positive tests per 10,000 people in Hyde Park - may not mean that those areas actually have higher true infection rates than other neighborhoods but that people who work in healthcare and related fields have so far been tested at higher rates because of the nature of their work.

The one area where the two maps do not correlate is East Boston, which has a relatively high rate of positive test results but a relatively low rate of employment in the two fields. However, part of East Boston share similar socioeconomic demographics with that of neighboring Chelsea - which has the highest Covid-19-positive rate in the state - in particular, people in families living in mult-family buildings where social distancing can be more difficult.

The BPHC data shows the South End has the city's second highest rate of positive test results, with a rate of 104 Covid-19 positive tests per 10,000 residents. City officials have said that is likely due to "universal" testing conducted at the Pine Street Inn a couple weeks ago.

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really nice work Adam, thanks

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Voting closed 37

This map shows obvious concentrations of people who live near the hospitals. You can see clusters around MGH, St. E's, LMA along with BUMC.

What is also shows you that the highest concentrations of medical support workers in South Boston and Charlestown live in public housing developments. These are your support staff and clinical workers. People doing the grunt work of the leading industry in this town. I went to Children's yesterday to give blood. LMA was a ghost town at 10:00 in the morning. The staff at the blood donor center (617-355-6677) was great. Give blood. They have a 3 week backlog for an appointment, but they need blood.

I also asked the very nice woman checking me in if her commute was easier. She said yes, (she lives in Dot) but MASCO is still charging workers to park whilst there is hardly any elective work going on. FFS you have people putting themselves into the front lines yet they are still getting nickeled and dimed by the "non-profits" that run the hospitals around here. Workers are putting in are up to 12 hours a day under extreme health risk and they have a choice; hop the T and potentially spread the virus but save $20 or get home and relax faster with needed rest. Cut these people some slack. We need them on their game.

Partners is spending a reported $100M to change their name to MGH Brigham. How about cutting your staff a wee slack in this insane time and let them park in those garages for free?

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Voting closed 49

The Brigham has free and 75% discounted parking.

Transit, Parking & Security
In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we appreciate that there are extraordinary strains on our employees as they commute to and from work. To support our employees, we will temporarily:

Free up onsite parking that is available as a result of the decreased number of patients coming to our campus.
Provide access to offsite parking we’ve temporarily acquired from our neighbors, including Boston Latin School, Emmanuel College, Massachusetts College of Art and Design and Wentworth College.
Temporary parking will be available until May 16. Of note:

Spaces will be issued on a first-come, first served basis.
Preference will be given to direct care providers and those who do not currently have parking.
A small number of on-site spots will be made available to employees who currently park off-site.
For this time period, all current parkers and all new parkers will be offered a discounted parking rate (75% discount off of normal rates).

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Voting closed 20

Make it free for all. Direct care providers means the woman working the 12 hour shift at the security desk and the cleaning people (who work for contractors) do not get the discount. They are breathing the same air.

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Voting closed 24

On street. Longwood Ave, Huntington, Brookline Ave, etc etc have 80% open spaces in the street pretty much every day when I drive down there.

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Voting closed 15

MGH is providing free parking for all employees.

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Voting closed 5

I brought up free parking and no parking tickets (excluding parking at a fire hydrant, handicap space) for medical workers/ first responders during the pandemic and the usual angry car haters had a temper trantrum.

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Voting closed 16

Has anybody done a study into whether or not that flu-like illness that hit the area in January, was actually coronavirus?

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Voting closed 26

And I got that in mid-December. It was annoying to literally not be able to run for a month, but hearing what Covid-19 people go through, it was a different illness.

On the other hand, that would mean that I and my family would be immune if there is a relation.

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Voting closed 11

Hyde Park is full of people who work in the front lines of the health care industry. Not just hospitals, but other sectors like assisted living. Seeing how hard the latter has been hit with Covid-19 cases, I would imagine that both exposure and testing is high with that sector.

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Voting closed 16

I don't think we can put much stock in any of these numbers until we have a much higher level of testing.

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Voting closed 12

Once again -- who ever is attempting to correlate noise with "real data" -- Please use this experience to learn

The demographic data [aside from the usual delay factor of a year or two] is real and pseudo-static data. In a neighborhood with a lot of people who rent, rather than own -- the delay of a couple of years could mean a lot of turn-over. But -- let's assume the demographics is OK.

What about the "Tested-positive" -- as we have seen and has been commented upon several times -- the CDC sets the rules for testing [and it changes with the evolving situation]*1
Current priorities for testing:

  1. you are in a hospital and get tested as part of your care
  2. you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19
    1. you contact your health care provider and get a "prescription for a test"
    2. you go to get tested
  3. you are in a special category and may or may not have symptoms
    1. medical personnel
    2. first responders
    3. nursing homes & similar*2
    4. grocery store & similar
    5. other special situations such as sports, politicians, etc.
    6. data collection projects associated with Medical Research
    7. general public [certain places, certain tests, certain organizations such as CVS and Walgreens]
  4. Other / misc. ??

Obviously -- no one knows which of the category of testing applied to which of the 413 who tested positive associated with Hyde Park as compared to the 410 who tested positive associated with East Boston, or any part of Boston for that matter.

We also don't know anything about the specific test and testing system used in each case [e.g. Abbott, other high-throughput, or more traditional-type] and we don't know the relevant positive and negative false results ratios.

The most recent summary from MA lists*3:
Total Cumulative Tests =156,806
Confirmed Cases Reported:

  1. Total = 36372
  2. Middlesex = 8297
  3. Suffolk 7696
  4. Residents/Healthcare workers of LongTerm Care Facilities = 5790
    1. Long-Term Care Facilities Reporting At Least One Case = 250

    35 facilities or labs are listed providing a total tests [TT] = 156806 with confirmed cases [CC] = 36372

    [partial list] of Some Testing sites in Boston*2 or generally available [e.g. Quest]
    TT= Total Tests CC= Confirmed Cases:

    1. MA State Public Health Laboratory TT= 9958 CC =1859
    2. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center 10579 CC= 2557 *4
    3. Boston Medical Center TT= 3078 CC= 1391
    4. BROAD Institute CRSP TT=18826 CC=5448
    5. Children’s Hospital Boston TT= 592 CC= 41 *4
    6. CVS TT= 7757 CC=1273
    7. Genesys Diagnostics TT=1881 CC=736
    8. LabCorp TT= 9602 CC= 2590
    9. Lemuel Shattuck Hospital TT= 57 CC=20
    10. Partners Healthcare TT= 10464 CC= 2909 *4
    11. Quest Laboratories TT= 62471 CC=12238
    12. Steward Health Care TT= 1120 CC= 410
    13. Tufts Medical Center TT= 6725 CC= 1905
    14. VA Healthcare Sites TT= 532 CC= 131 *4
    15. Viracor TT= 1367 CC= 83
    16. Point of Care Testing TT= 460 CC= 115

    So -- if you think that you or even you and Deep Learning with your super computer can draw significant conclusions -- you are just wasting all of our time - including UHub and its readers/posters

    Refs:
    *1
    CDC Testing

    Evaluating and Testing Persons for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
    CDC guidance for COVID-19 may be adapted by state and local health departments to respond to rapidly changing local circumstances.

    *2
    Nursing homes -- unless otherwise stated includes both residents and staff of nursing homes or similar types of long or intermediate non-hospital type residential care facilities

    *3
    MA Testing & results

    MA COVID-19 summary as of 04/18/2020
    There is day-to-day variability in cases reported by testing laboratories and no single day change is indicative of overall cases trends.

    *4
    Some of the Hospitals associated with Boston [e.g. Partners, Beth Israel Deaconess now with Lahey, VA] have significant suburban components which are part of the their total number of tests and confirmed cases

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Voting closed 13