Nearly 600 homeless people in Boston have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, a caseload that includes two deaths, Mayor Martin J. Walsh said on Monday.
Speaking at an afternoon City Hall news conference, Walsh said that 596 homeless people have tested positive and more than 1,800 have been tested, as authorities continue universal testing for that population. About one third of those who were tested are confirmed cases.
The number of confirmed cases among the homeless in the city increased from 426 on April 22.
Walsh added that the Boston Hope Medical Center, as of Sunday night, had 161 patients. The new, 1,000-bed medical facility was built in the cavernous Boston Convention and Exhibition Center for COVID-19 patients. Half the beds in the facility are reserved for homeless people who have tested positive for the virus and need care, but do not require full hospitalization.
Of the center’s 161 patients, 63 are homeless. The center has offered care to 548 patients since opening last month.
“That’s making a big difference in allowing our hospitals to maintain expanded ICU capacity,” Walsh said.
All told, the city has tested about 28,000 residents for the virus, which constitutes about 4 percent of Boston’s population, said Walsh.
He said the confirmed positive rate for city cases was 32 percent and “trending down.”
By the end of this week, there will be 19 testing sites in total across the city, according to the mayor.
There have been more than 9,900 confirmed COVID-19 cases of Boston residents to date, including 426 deaths.