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Mayor Walsh says city’s positive COVID-19 test rate drops to 1.7 percent

But Labor Day weekend was marred by 12 shootings across Boston

Mayor Martin J. Walsh (photo by Matthew J Lee/Globe Staff/FILE)Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff

Mayor Martin J. Walsh said Tuesday that Boston’s citywide COVID-19 positive test rate for the week ending Sept. 1 came in at 1.7 percent, lauding the declining rate while pledging that he will step up efforts to address violence after a holiday weekend that saw 12 people shot across the city.

Walsh, speaking during his regular news conference outside City Hall, said that citywide positive test rate was a decrease from the prior week’s rate of 2.3 percent.

“So now we’ve seen now a couple of weeks of decline, which is a good thing to see,” Walsh said.

Turning to testing, Walsh said that for the week ending Sept. 1, the city tested an average of nearly 3,000 people per day, an increase from last month’s average of about 1,500 daily.


“They’re doing [testing of] students that are coming back on campus, so our numbers have gone up dramatically because of that,” Walsh said. “That’s going to increase testing in neighborhoods where students live.”

The mayor also commented on the violence in the city over the Labor Day weekend, when a dozen shootings were reported.

Walsh said a number of city agencies are working to bring “every available resource” to violence prevention in Boston.

Police Commissioner William G. Gross also spoke to reporters during the briefing.

“It was a long Labor Day weekend,” Gross said of the outburst of violence.

He thanked residents in the affected neighborhoods for calling 911, which he said helped police make gun arrests and glean information connected to 12 “independent” shootings. As of Tuesday, Gross said, none of those shootings appear to be linked.

“The arrests we’re making, the people that we’re seeing committing the crimes, are a part of the same group,” Gross said. "And you’ve heard me say it over and over again — the same repeat violent offenders committing the crimes.”


The shootings were scattered across Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Hyde Park, Mattapan, and South Boston from late Friday night until late Monday night. In each incident, a single person was shot and was expected to survive, according to Boston police officials.

The first took place at 11:13 p.m. Friday at 5 Toledo Terrace in Dorchester, Officer Stephen McNulty, a department spokesman, said in an e-mail. Then, about three hours later someone was shot early Saturday morning at 8 Newacre Road in Hyde Park, McNulty said.

Several hours later, there was a shooting just before 9 a.m. at 450 Walnut Ave. in Jamaica Plain. On Saturday night, there were shootings just moments apart around 10:30 p.m. at 152 Spencer St. and 5 Livingstone St. in Dorchester, McNulty said.

About 90 minutes later, a person was shot at 9 Ranley Road in Mattapan just after midnight, McNulty said. A short time later, a man in his 30s was shot at 1:21 a.m. at 251 Harold St. in Dorchester, police said Sunday. He suffered abdomen and hip injuries and was taken to a hospital, police said.

Just before 2 a.m. another person was shot at 713 Dudley St. in Dorchester, McNulty said. And at 3:43 a.m., someone was shot at 3 Everton St. in Dorchester and then run struck by a car right after, Officer James Moccia, a police spokesman said Sunday.


Surveillance video shows the injured man rolling to the ground in front of a car, which then pulls away from the curb, Moccia said. The driver did not appear to intend to run the man over, Moccia said.

The driver stopped, ran back to help the victim, and drove him several blocks to Brookford Street. The driver then called police, Moccia said.

At 4:13 p.m. Monday, a person who was shot at an unknown location sought treatment at a local hospital, McNulty said, and just past 11 p.m. Monday there was a shooting at 111 Flaherty Way in South Boston, he said.

Walsh also discussed the shootings via Twitter Tuesday.

“I want to address the shootings and incidents of violence that took place over the long weekend,” Walsh tweeted. “One violent act, at any time, is unacceptable. Our goal is always zero. We have to bring every available resource to this. That’s why we added 15 mental health clinicians to the BEST team in this year’s budget, to respond to mental health calls with treatment and resources. And we are dedicated to eliminating the root causes of violence, including poverty and systemic racism.”

Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JaclynReiss Milton J. Valencia can be reached at milton.valencia@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @miltonvalencia and on Instagram @miltonvalencia617. Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.