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Boston Public Health Commission urges testing, vaccination ahead of holiday weekend as COVID positivity rate in city tops 6 percent

Shoppers mask up at Quincy Market in Boston.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

The Boston Public Health Commission urged residents on Wednesday to take steps to protect themselves against COVID-19 ahead of the upcoming Passover, Easter and Patriot’s Day weekend.

In a post to its blog, the commission said the city’s COVID-19 positivity rate is at 6.2 percent, passing their “threshold of concern” of 5 percent. Residents between the ages of 20 to 30 are driving the increased rate, the commission wrote.

As people prepare to gather over the long weekend, which includes Monday’s running of the 126th Boston Marathon, the commission urged people to ensure they were fully vaccinated, had received a booster shot, and take a COVID-19 test before gathering.

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“In the coming days, Boston residents will celebrate Passover and Easter, continue to observe Ramadan, attend the 126th running of the Boston Marathon, and enjoy a week of school vacation,” the statement said. “With so much to look forward to, the Boston Public Health Commission is encouraging residents to remain vigilant about COVID-19 and to use the tools that we know work-- masking, vaccines, boosters, and testing-- to protect themselves and those around them before gathering this week and next.”

The city’s community positivity rate has risen by 4 percent since early March, when the rate sat at 2.2 percent, the statement said.

“Celebrating with family and friends is an important and treasured time, and as cases increase, we must remain vigilant so we can be together safely,” said Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, commissioner of public health and executive director of the boston public health commission, in the statement.

On Wednesday, Massachusetts reported 1,969 new confirmed coronavirus cases and said 16,030 vaccinations, including booster shots, had been administered, according to data released by the state department of public health.




Charlie McKenna can be reached at charlie.mckenna@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @charliemckenna9.