coronavirus

Boston's Coronavirus Case Total Tops 50,000

The city reported 485 new cases Friday and no new deaths

NBC Universal, Inc.

The city of Boston reported 485 new coronavirus cases on Friday, officially crossing the 50,000 case threshold.

There have now been 50,325 COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic. No new deaths were reported Friday, leaving the total at 1,113.

For the week ending Jan. 14, an average of 5,594 people were tested each day, slightly less than the previous week. The average number of positive tests each day was 447.9 and the community positivity rate was 7.5% -- both down from the week before.

Mayor Marty Walsh said Friday that rates have been going down in almost every neighborhood in the city, and the overall numbers are starting to stabilize. But overall case numbers and hospitalizations remain high.

Hospital admissions are down slightly week over week, but ICU beds remain at 99% occupancy without the addition of surge beds.

Last weekend, the first case of the new COVID variant in Massachusetts was detected in a Boston resident who traveled internationally. City and state health officials are cotinuing to monitor the situation.

Walsh also announced Friday that some businesses in Boston will be allowed to open past 9:30 p.m. starting next week as the state eases some COVID-19 restrictions, but others will be required to remain closed under the city's cautious reopening plan.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday said he will next week lift a stay-at-home advisory and an order requiring all businesses close by 9:30 p.m. as health officials see encouraging trends in the state's COVID-19 data.

He said Gov. Charlie Baker's lifting of the state's early business closure order -- slated to begin Monday -- will apply to businesses in Boston that are currently allowed to be open.

"That means Monday, restaurants will be able to stay open later and businesses that are currently open will be able to stay open later," the mayor said.

But he said the city will remain in Phase 2, Step 2 of its reopening process, meaning many businesses, including gyms, indoor event spaces, indoor recreational and athletic facilities and sightseeing companies must remain closed.

While much of Massachusetts is in Phase 3, Step 1 of the reopening plan, Boston in December rolled back to Phase 2, citing a spike in COVID-19 cases following the Thanksgiving holiday. Boston's rollback to Phase 2 is set to expire on Jan. 27. Walsh said the city will provide an update next week on whether the city would extend the rollback.

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