Boston has now crossed its “threshold for concern” for the percentage of ICU beds available and week-over-week ER visits as Wednesday’s semiweekly report showed numbers continuing to worsen across the board.
The percent of intensive care unit beds available in Boston has continued to plunge, now down to 15% after dropping by a point or two every day of the past week.
The “threshold for concern” is 20%, a mark the city crossed for the first time since it laid out the mark last month. The percent of open beds nudged up to 30% around Thanksgiving — but has decreased nearly daily since then.
The city also for the first time marked a whole week during which emergency department visits were up each day over the same day of the previous week. That in itself is another threshold for concern, the city has said.
Mayor Martin Walsh and his top health officials have long said that hospitalization metrics are the most important in charting the severity of the spread and whether more closures happen.
Facing declining coronavirus numbers, Walsh pulled the trigger Monday on a rollback of the reopening to “Phase 2, Step 2,” which the city originally exited months ago. That includes the closure of movie theaters, museums, gyms and more indoor gathering spaces as of Wednesday for at least three weeks.
The percent of total hospital beds available has improved sightly to 11% after hitting a low of 9% a few days earlier. Those numbers plateaued around 9% and 10% for six days — a week of post-Thanksgiving worsening — before nudging back down. The threshold for concern for that metric is 5%.
Boston’s seven-day average positive test rate continued to rise, now at 7.9%, up from 7.3% in the previous report on Saturday. Based on incomplete data for the most recent days — the latest date with full data is Dec. 10 —it looks like that might be leveling out, which would be a welcome change from its constant rise since Thanksgiving. The threshold for concern for this metric is 5%, a mark the city passed weeks ago.
The average number of daily positive tests sits at 433, around where it’s plateaued for more than a week. The goal — which Boston smashed through ass cases surged after the November holiday — is 340.
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