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Jul 26
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): The Latest

CLICK HERE FOR COVID-19 VACCINE SITE INFORMATION IN THE CITY OF BOSTON

OVERVIEW:

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 or COVID-19 (formerly referred to as 2019 Novel Coronavirus or 2019-nCoV) is a new respiratory virus that was first identified in Wuhan, China in December of 2019. The City of Boston and BPHC have extended the public health emergency declaration until further notice

Boston's Latest Numbers (As of July 26, 2021): (Updated Monday-Friday)

  • 71,846 confirmed cases 

  • 69,746 recovered

  • 1,396 deaths


Boston Race/Ethnicity Case Data: 

(Updated Monday-Friday)

Race/Ethnicity

Known Cases

Percentage of Known Cases

Asian/PI

4,025

6%

Black/African-American

16,232

25%

Latinx/Hispanic

19,711

30%

Other

3,986

6%

White

22,238

34%

Total Race/Ethnicity Identified Cases in Boston

66,192

92.1% of total cases in Boston have known Race/Ethnicity data

Total Cases in Boston 

71,846

 


Boston Race/Ethnicity Death Data: 

(Updated Monday-Friday)

Race/Ethnicity

Deaths

Percentage of Known Deaths

Asian/PI

108

8%

Black/African-American

453

32%

Latinx/Hispanic

189

14%

Other

46

3%

White

599

43%

Total Race/Ethnicity Identified Deaths in Boston

1,395

99.9% of total deaths in Boston have known Race/Ethnicity data

Total Deaths in Boston

1,396

 


Although complete data on race and ethnicity among COVID-19 positive cases in Boston residents has not been reported to the City of Boston, the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) is actively working to collect available data for public release.

NOTE: Information on race and ethnicity data is collected and reported by multiple entities and may or may not reflect self-reporting by the individual case. A classification of "missing" indicates that no reporter knew the race and ethnicity of the individual, the individual refused to provide the information, or that the originating reporting system does not capture the information. "Other" indicates multiple races or another race that is not listed above.

Click HERE for the latest COVID-19 Core Metrics: 07-23-2021

These are the core metrics critical to inform response leadership. BPHC and the City of Boston use this data to monitor the progress of the City's response, to guide decision making and to shape our response moving forward during the COVID-19 pandemic.   Click here for archived COVID-19 Metrics reports. 

Click HERE for the Weekly COVID-19 Vaccination Report: 07-26-2021
This report on the COVID-19 vaccination rollout in the City will be released weekly. The City will analyze data to see where there are gaps and target solutions to address inequitable access or acceptance. Click here for archived COVID-19 vaccination reports.  

All Boston Testing Data - Cumulative Community Positivity

The "Cumulative Community Positivity" calculation counts each individual person one time (their first negative, their first positive), regardless of the number of times an individual is tested, to assess the level of COVID-19 infection in the City and neighborhoods since the start of the pandemic. College ordered testing included. (As of July 20, 2021). 

NEIGHBORHOOD

​NUMBER TESTED

OF TESTED, CUMULATIVE % POSITIVE​

TESTING RATE PER 100,000 RESIDENTS​

East Boston - 02128

44,565

17.5%

94,966.7

Dorchester - 02122, 02124

60,333

16.7%

74,595.7

Dorchester - 02121, 02125

55,121

16.0%

85,755.4

Hyde Park - 02136

28,905

15.5%

84,460.7

Mattapan - 02126

20,053

​14.7%

67,767.2

Roslindale - 02131

27,059

13.1%

80,125.0

South Boston - 02127, 02210

39,226

12.5%

97,835.1

Roxbury - 02119, 02120

49,056

11.3%

113,747.8

West Roxbury - 02132

22,474

10.6%

78,892.1

Charlestown - 02129  

16,316

8.7%

84,042.4

South End - 02111, 02118 

41,826

8.6%

116,976.2

Allston/Brighton - 02163, 02134, 02135 

68,027

7.7%​

102,165.7

Jamaica Plain - 02130

39,908

7.6%​

98,838.4

Back Bay, Beacon Hill, West End, Downtown, & North End - 02108, 02114, 02116, 02199, 02222, 02109, 02110, 02113​

56,326

6.4%​

101,082.1

Fenway - 02115, 02215

90,793

3.8%​

165,901.7

Boston

689,388

10.5%

101,468.2

*N/A = Unable to calculate due to small counts (N<5)

Neighborhood Testing Data - Current Community Positivity

The "Current Community Positivity" calculation counts each individual person one time within 7 days to better assess the current level of COVID-19 infection in the City and neighborhoods. Excludes college-ordered testing. (July 14-20). 

NEIGHBORHOOD

​NUMBER TESTED

POSITIVE 
TESTS

% POSITIVE

South End - 02111, 02118

810

31

3.8%

Jamaica Plain - 02130

968

33

3.4%

South Boston - 02127, 02210

802

27

3.4%

Back Bay, Beacon Hill, West End, Downtown, & North End - 02108, 02114, 02116, 02199, 02222, 02109, 02110, 02113

1,416

39

2.8%

Dorchester - 02122, 02124

1,375

34

2.5%

Dorchester - 02121, 02125

1,292

30

2.3%

Fenway - 02115, 02215

615

14

2.3%

Roslindale - 02131

712

15

2.1%

East Boston - 02128

1,008

18

1.8%

Allston/Brighton - 02163, 02134, 02135

1,189

21

1.8%

Roxbury - 02119, 02120

943

16

1.7%

Charlestown - 02129

332

5

1.5%

Hyde Park - 02136

728

10

1.4%

Mattapan - 02126

508

5

1.0%

West Roxbury - 02132

749

7

0.9%

Boston

13,702

308

2.2%

*N/A = Unable to calculate due to small counts (N<5)


Click here for the BPHC 07-23-2021 Weekly COVID-19 Report

Number of deaths at long-term care facilities: 514 (Updated weekly: 07-26-2021)

ABOUT OUR RESPONSE:

Since January, BPHC and Boston EMS have taken extensive steps to prepare for a potential outbreak of COVID-19.

BPHC is engaging in daily communications with the CDC, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), City of Boston departments and other community partners to make sure we have the latest information on guidance, best practices and recommendations. BPHC will provide updated information on this website and on our social media channels as it becomes available.

We are confident the City of Boston continues to be ready for a safe and effective response as the situation develops.

HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT COVID-19?

Visit the BPHC Main COVID-19 Page

Call 311 or 211

Call the Mayor's Healthline: 

617-534-5050 or Toll-Free: 1-800-847-0710

Jul 23
Boston Public Health Commission Releases Anti-Racism Policy Statement and Action Plan

Friday, July 23, 2021 – Today, the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) released its first commission-wide Anti-Racism Policy Statement and Action Plan. The policy statement, effective immediately, affirms that Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color lives matter and denounces all forms of racism. The policy action plan builds on BPHC’s two-decades of groundwork and commits BPHC to expanding its work to include standard race/ethnicity data collection and use, departmental racial equity goals and action plans, staff recruitment, hiring, promotion and training, and racial equity performance accountability systems. It also establishes a work plan with performance management measures to hold BPHC accountable to its commitment to address the impact of racism on the lives of Boston residents and their overall health

“We have been laying the groundwork for this Anti-Racism Policy for many years, with staff training, a focus on equitable procurement, and budgeting and monitoring our employment,” said Rita Nieves, BPHC Interim Executive Director. “This is the logical and necessary next step; an explicit commitment and requirement that we institutionalize racial equity in our policies, practices and programs.”

“Our understanding of the complex relationships between racism and health outcomes and what it means to be an anti-racist public health organization is evolving,” said Triniese Polk, Director of the Office of Racial Equity and Community Engagement at BPHC. “This policy statement will hold us accountable as an organization in the days ahead.”

As laid out in the action plan, BPHC will:

  • Develop a Racial Equity Tool and normalize use across all departments.

  • Develop and implement department Racial Equity Teams and Action Plans.

  • Create and use a system to better understand the race and ethnicity of BPHC clients to provide better services.

  • Update all-staff Racial Equity training to reflect current community understanding of Anti-Racism. Train supervisors to recognize and avoid Implicit Bias and Microaggressions.

  • Increase opportunities for community engagement in budget processes and Racial Equity Action Plans.

  • Review yearly amounts budgeted to reduce racial inequities.

  • Expand BPHC's Equitable Procurement Policy.

  • Embed racial equity language in new funding opportunities.

  • Develop and implement recruitment, promotion and retention strategies to increase the number of people of color in BPHC staff and leadership. 

  • Create and use a system to collect, track and report racial equity impact and share results with residents.

Read the full BPHC Policy Statement and Action Plan here.


BPHC envisions a thriving Boston where all residents live healthy, fulfilling lives free of racism, poverty, violence, and other systems of oppression, and where all residents have equitable opportunities and resources, leading to optimal health and well-being. The Commission has prioritized Racial and Health Equity for more than twenty-years beginning with a community coalition to address the unequal rates of breast and cervical cancer deaths for Black women. ​ Since then, BPHC has established a wide range of initiatives focusing on equitable community engagement, equitable budgeting and procurement, and staff training in racial equity and justice.

“It is imperative to boldly take action to address racism holistically. BPHC has a rich history of leading as one of the nation's oldest health departments and I'm proud of the new standard they are setting with this policy by focusing on the root causes impacting our neighbor's and communities' well-being,” said Chief of Health and Human Services Marty Martinez.

In June of 2020, former Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh declared racism a public health crisis, dedicating funding to BPHC in the FY21 budget and announcing immediate actions and long-term strategies to address the impact racism has on the health and well-being of Boston residents.

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Jul 20
Boston Public Health Officials Issue Recommendations to Residents Regarding Cluster of COVID-19 Cases in Provincetown

BOSTON - Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - In response to the cluster of COVID-19 cases traced back to Provincetown, today the Boston Public Health Commission issued new guidance to all residents of Boston who have traveled to Provincetown during July and until further notice.  As of July 19, 2021, at least 35 COVID-19 cases in Boston residents have been traced back to this cluster and the overwhelming majority of those have been fully vaccinated.



All City of Boston residents who have traveled to Provincetown since July 1, 2021 and until further notice:

  • Get tested for COVID-19 at least 5 days after your return, regardless of vaccination status or symptoms
  • Self-isolate and avoid groups or gatherings for at least 5 days and until you receive a negative COVID-19 test, regardless of vaccination status


Close, sustained contact with other people indoors increases your risk of exposure to COVID. While those vaccinated are strongly protected from serious illness or hospitalization, it is still possible to get COVID and spread it to others. 



COVID-19 testing and COVID-19 vaccination remain widely available across the City of Boston. Regardless of vaccination status, BPHC is asking everyone to remember to get tested and to self-isolate if any symptoms of COVID-19 infection develop, even if those symptoms are mild.



As we learn more about this cluster and how to live with COVID-19 circulating in our communities, BPHC asks all residents to take these additional precautions to help identify COVID-19 infections rapidly, prevent additional spread, and protect vulnerable members of our communities. Please help the City of Boston control the spread and encourage others to get vaccinated and tested. 


Additional Resources:

COVID-19 Testing in the City of Boston

COVID-19 Testing in Massachusetts

COVID-19 Vaccination Sites in the City of Boston

COVID-19 Vaccination Sites in Massachusetts


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Jul 16
Boston Public Health Officials Announce Season’s First West Nile Virus-Positive Mosquito Sample

BOSTON - Friday, July 16, 2021 - ​The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) announced today that West Nile Virus (WNV) has been detected in mosquitoes in Boston for the first time this year. The presence of WNV was confirmed today by the Massachusetts State Public Health Laboratory in a mosquito sample collected on July 14, 2021 in Jamaica Plain. No human or animal cases of WNV or Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) have been detected so far this year in the City of Boston. Although there is no elevated risk level or risk-level change associated with this finding, BPHC advises residents to prevent mosquito bites and to mosquito-proof their homes.

“It is typical to find West Nile Virus in mosquitoes in Boston at this time of year,” said Dr. Sarimer Sanchez, Director of the Infectious Disease Bureau at the Boston Public Health Commission. “However, it is also that time of year when many of us will be spending time outdoors, enjoying summertime in New England. When you or your family are outside, it is important that you take steps to prevent mosquito bites. That includes using an approved mosquito repellent, draining standing water from your yard and repairing window screens to keep mosquitos out of your home.”

West Nile Virus (WNV) is a rare but serious disease most often spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. WNV has been detected in Boston mosquitoes during the summer and fall months (June – November) every year since 2000, but WNV in people is rare. In 2020 and 2019, there were no human cases of WNV infection diagnosed in Boston residents. In 2018, there were seven human cases of WNV infection diagnosed in Boston residents.

While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe disease. Most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms. When present, WNV symptoms tend to include fever and flu-like illness. In rare cases, more severe illness can occur.  There is no vaccine or specific antiviral treatments for West Nile Virus infection. The most effective way to avoid WNV is to take measures to prevent mosquito bites.

Mosquitoes in Boston are most active from dusk to dawn during the months of July to September, but mosquitoes can spread disease until the first hard frost (as late as November). The risk can be reduced by using insect repellent when outdoors, especially from dusk to dawn and, when possible, wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants. Residents should also make sure that their window and door screens are in good repair to prevent mosquitoes from getting inside. To help prevent mosquitoes from breeding, BPHC advises residents to empty standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires, and birdbaths on a regular basis.

Preventing Mosquito Bites:

Use Mosquito repellent

  • Use repellents containing DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus, picaridin or IR3535. 

  • Always read the directions on the label.

  • Apply DEET to exposed skin (avoid eyes and mouth) and on clothes, but not on open cuts or wounds. 

  • After going inside, wash off repellent with soap and water. If the product has been applied directly to clothing, wash it before wearing again.

  • Do not use DEET concentrations of more than 30%.

  • Do not let children apply repellents themselves. Avoid children's eyes, mouth, or hands and use them cautiously around ears.

  • Do not use DEET on infants under two months of age (mosquito netting can be used over infant carriers) or oil of lemon eucalyptus on children under 3 years of age.

  • Use only repellents approved for use on animals on pets.

  • Wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks whenever possible. Tuck your shirt into your pants to keep mosquitoes from going under your clothes.

  • Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, so it is important to make sure items around your home do not collect any water. It only takes one week for mosquito larvae living in water to grow into biting adults. Turn over unused flowerpots, buckets, wheelbarrows and garbage cans; remove leaves and other debris that can clog gutters and trap water; dispose of or cover old tires; and cover swimming pools when not in use.

  • Make sure window and door screens do not have holes in them. Screens in good condition will help prevent mosquitoes from getting inside your home.

  • Pet owners should speak with their veterinarian about mosquito repellents approved for use in animals and vaccinations to prevent WNV and EEE.

Citywide Prevention Efforts:

BPHC partners with the Suffolk County Mosquito Control Project (SCMCP) to protect Boston residents from mosquito-borne illnesses and to control the mosquito population in certain areas of Boston. SCMCP collects mosquito samples in traps every week during the summer and fall. Those mosquito samples are tested to see if WNV or EEE are present. Mosquito control measures are also implemented during the summer and fall months. Wetlands, storm drains and other areas around the city are treated to limit the number of mosquitoes by killing mosquito larvae.

In April of 2021, there were sprayings in Hyde Park and West Roxbury. For more information about the sprayings, reach out to SCMCP at 781-899-5730. For a full list of any upcoming spraying, please visit bphc.org/mosquitocontrol.


For More Information:


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Jul 08
Mayor Janey, Boston Public Health Commission To Hold “Day of Hope” Celebration to Encourage Residents to Get Vaccinated

BOSTON – Thursday, July 8, 2021 - Mayor Kim Janey and the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) will host Day of Hope events in three Boston neighborhoods on Saturday, July 10, 2021 to honor the lives lost to COVID-19, celebrate the progress Boston has made toward ending the pandemic, and provide an opportunity for anyone to get vaccinated. Events will be held in Mattapan, East Boston, and Roxbury, communities that have been hardest hit by the pandemic. Individuals who get vaccinated will receive a $50 gift certificate to a local supermarket; families who get vaccinated will receive a $150 gift certificate. There will also be food, entertainment and information about City of Boston and community resources.

“As we move through an equitable recovery, we remain committed to expanding access to and awareness about the COVID-19 vaccine in our neighborhoods disproportionately impacted by the pandemic,” said Mayor Janey. “The best way to protect yourself, your loved ones and your community is to get the vaccine. I would encourage anyone who hasn’t already been vaccinated to come out on Saturday, join the ‘Day of Hope’ and get the vaccine. Every dose of the COVID-19 vaccine gives us hope for brighter days ahead and brings us one step closer to putting this pandemic behind us.”

WHEN:           

Saturday, July 10, 2021

10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

WHERE:

EAST BOSTON:

Paris St. Park Playground

112 Paris St., East Boston, MA 02128

MATTAPAN:

Mattapan Health Center

1575 Blue Hill Avenue, Boston, MA 02126

  

ROXBURY:

Dennis Park

138 Moreland St., Boston, MA 02119






The Day of Hope is part of BPHC’s Hope Campaign, a multilingual public awareness campaign, aimed at encouraging residents to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The campaign uses a localized, targeted strategy to build trust with communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine in Boston, visit here or call 3-1-1.

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Jul 02
DR. BISOLA OJIKUTU APPOINTED EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE BOSTON PUBLIC HEALTH COMMISSION

​Friday, July 2, 2021 - Boston Mayor Kim Janey announced today that Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, MD, MPH will be the next Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC). Dr. Ojikutu’s appointment was unanimously approved by the Board of Health on July 1. 

Dr. Ojikutu is currently an Associate Physician within the Division of Global Health Equity and the Division of Infectious Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and an Assistant Professor of Medicine and an Assistant Professor of Global and Social Medicine within the Department of Global and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Ojikutu will assume the role currently held by Rita Nieves, RN, MPH, LICSW on September 1, 2021 when Ms. Nieves retires. 

"I am pleased Boston found a dedicated infectious disease physician with extensive public health, leadership, and advocacy experience to lead BPHC. I look forward to working with Dr. Ojikutu to build a healthier Boston for all our residents," said Mayor Janey. "I am also deeply grateful for the exceptional service of BPHC’s interim leadership, particularly Rita Nieves, who was an exemplary leader in helping Boston navigate the unforeseeable challenges presented to our city during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are all deeply indebted to Rita for her service.”

Dr. Ojikutu brings comprehensive experience leading and developing programming to address inequity and social determinants of health that serve as barriers to prevention, care and treatment of infectious diseases among vulnerable populations including women, immigrants, and Black and Latinx individuals. Her clinical research and community service activities have focused on achieving health equity and developing strategies to provide the highest quality care to vulnerable populations, both domestically and internationally with a focus on overcoming racial and ethnic disparities in access to HIV prevention and treatment.

“Dr. Ojikutu’s extensive experience and commitment to meaningful, tangible progress toward eliminating health inequities make her uniquely suited for this role,” said Chief of Health and Human Services Marty Martinez. “I am confident that she is the right person to lead BPHC as we work to recover from COVID-19 and build toward a more equitable and resilient city.” 

“I’d like to extend my most sincere congratulations to Dr. Ojikutu,” said Manny Lopes, Chair of the Board of Health. “The Board of Health and Commission staff look forward to working alongside Dr. Ojikutu to deepen efforts in maximizing health equity and racial justice in Boston.”

"I am thrilled about the opportunity to serve as BPHC's Executive Director, and I'm committed to working with Mayor Janey, the Board of Health, and BPHC’s dedicated staff to promote the health and well-being of the residents of Boston and create real progress towards achieving health equity," said Ojikutu. "I am eager to build on our city’s strong foundation and work with BPHC staff, community partners, and residents to ensure that our work is grounded in the lived experience of those we serve."

Dr. Ojikutu will start with the Commission on September 1.

ABOUT THE BOSTON PUBLIC HEALTH COMMISSION

The Boston Public Health Commission, one of the country's oldest health departments, is an independent public agency providing a wide range of health services and programs. It is governed by a seven-member board of health appointed by the Mayor of Boston. Public service and access to quality health care are the cornerstones of our mission: to protect, preserve and promote the health and well-being of all Boston residents, particularly those who are most vulnerable. The Commission's more than 40 programs are grouped into six bureaus: Emergency Medical Services; Child Adolescent & Family Health; Community Health Initiatives; Homeless Services; Infectious Disease; and Recovery Services.

# # #



Jun 26
Mayor Janey Declares Heat Emergency, Opens BCYF Cooling Center to All Residents

​Saturday, June 26, 2021 – In anticipation of the dangerously hot and humid weather forecasted for the beginning of next week, Mayor Kim Janey declared a heat emergency in the City of Boston beginning Monday, June 28 and lasting through Wednesday, June 30. During this time, temperatures are expected to be in the mid 90s, with a feels-like temperature reaching as high as 97 degrees. Due to the hot temperatures forecast for Sunday, June 27 through Thursday, July 1, residents are urged to follow heat safety tips.

"It is going to be dangerously hot so I'm asking everyone to take steps to stay safe over the next few days. Let's look out for each other, Boston. If you see someone outside who appears in distress and needs help, call 911 right away," said Mayor Janey. "Drink plenty of water. Try to avoid strenuous outdoor activity during the middle of the day. And find ways to stay cool. Anyone who needs a place to beat the heat can come inside and rest in the air conditioning at one of our cooling centers."

To help residents stay cool, cooling centers will be open at Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) community centers from Monday through Wednesday, 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. A full list of centers that will be available can be found at Boston.gov/Heat. The Frog Pond and tot sprays are open at parks and playgrounds throughout the City. Several indoor BCYF pools are available for recreational swim and the outdoor BCYF Mirabella Pool in North End will open on Wednesday, June 30, 2021. Pre-register for a time to swim at all pools at Boston.gov/BCYF-Registration

Information on heat safety tips can be found online at boston.gov/heat and by following @CityofBoston on Twitter. Residents can sign up for Alert Boston, the City's emergency notification system, to receive emergency alerts by phone, email or text. Sign up online here. Residents are also encouraged to call 311 with any questions about available city services.

The Mayor issued the following heat safety tips for all members of the public:

  • Children and pets should never be left alone in vehicles, even for short periods of time.

  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids regardless of activity level. Avoid alcoholic beverages and liquids high in sugar or caffeine.

  • Keep cool with frequent cool showers, shade, and air conditioning or fans. 

  • Adults and children should use sunscreen containing an SPF-30 or higher and wear protective, loose-fitting clothing, including long sleeve shirts and hats.

  • Limit outdoor activity to morning and evening hours. Rest often in shady areas and be extra cautious from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., when the sun's UV radiation is strongest.

  • Know the signs of heat exhaustion. Heavy sweating, cool and clammy skin, dizziness, nausea, and muscle aches could all be signs of heat exhaustion. If symptoms persist, call 911 immediately. Do not delay care. Heat is the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the US and can exacerbate underlying illnesses.

  • If you have a child in your home, use child window guards in addition to screens on any open window on the second story or above. Falls are the leading cause of injury for children under the age of six. 

  • Secure all window air conditioner units according to the manufacturer's specifications.

  • Please call or virtually check on neighbors, especially older adults, and people with disabilities.

 Helping the Homeless:

  • If you see individuals out in the heat who appear immobile or disoriented, please call 911. Please ask them if they need assistance.

  • The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) operates emergency shelters at 112 Southampton St. and 794 Massachusetts Ave. These facilities are air conditioned and open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Amnesty has been called because of extremely high temperatures so those with non-violent restrictions can access shelter. 

  • The City of Boston works closely with a network of shelter providers to ensure there is adequate shelter, food, water, and a cool respite from the heat.

  • Street outreach teams providing recovery services remain operating as normal during summertime weather. Outreach teams are providing sunscreen and water on outreach routes and in the comfort station. 

  • Engagement Center: The Engagement Center remains open from 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. Air conditioning, water, sunscreen and nursing are provided on site. Showers and running water are available.

  • The Comfort Station: The Comfort Station is open weekdays from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Water, sunscreen and nursing are provided on site. 

Playground Safety:  

  • Children should always wear shoes on playgrounds because surfaces can become extremely hot and cause burns, even splash pads and spray decks.

Outdoor Fires and Grilling:

  • No outdoor fires are allowed in Boston, including fire pits, chimineas, and bonfires.

  • Charcoal grills must be on the ground and away from buildings. Keep in mind the wind and never leave unattended. When done, dispose of the ash in a metal container once completely out.

  • Propane tank grills are only allowed on first floor porches with steps to the ground. Do not place propane tank grills near air conditioners or up against a building. Make sure all connections are tight and never carry propane tanks into a home.

  • Grills should always be used in a well-ventilated area.

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Jun 21
National Mosquito Control Awareness Week: June 20-26th

​It is that time of year when we are all spending more time outdoors and mosquitoes are everywhere. During National Mosquito Control Awareness Week (June 20-26, 2021), the Boston Public Health Commission is reminding everyone to take steps to protect yourself against mosquito bites and the diseases they may carry, such as West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).

Mosquitoes in Boston are most active from July to September, but they can spread disease until the first hard frost (as late as November). Taking simple precautions can prevent potentially serious diseases caused by the bite of infected mosquitoes. If you are going to be spending time outside, you need to be thinking about prevention and protection against mosquito bites. 

WNV and EEE are rare in Boston, and it is unlikely that you will get sick from a mosquito bite. However, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately if you develop high fever, confusion, severe headache, stiff neck, joint pain or if your eyes become sensitive to light.


HOW TO PREVENT MOSQUITO BITES:

Use mosquito repellent

  • Use repellants containing DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus, Picaridin or IR3535.

  • Click here to find the right repellent for you.

  • Always read the directions on the label and use as directed. You may need to reapply repellent from time to time while outdoors.

  • Apply DEET to exposed skin (avoid eyes and mouth) and on clothes, but not on open cuts or wounds.

  • Do not apply underneath clothes.

  • Wash off repellent with soap and water when you go back inside.

  • Use only approved repellents on pets.

  • Do not use repellents containing DEET concentrations of more than 30%. 

  • Do not let children apply repellents to themselves. When you apply it, avoid children's mouth, eyes, and hands. Use carefully around ears.

  • Do not apply DEET on infants. Cover infant carriers with mosquito netting instead. Also do not use oil of lemon eucalyptus on children under 3-years-old.

Cover up

  • Wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks whenever possible. Tuck your shirt into your pants to keep mosquitoes from going under your clothes.

Peak hours

  • Mosquitoes in Boston are most active from dusk to dawn. Try to limit the time you spend outdoors during this time.

Protect your home

  • Repair damaged windows and door screens. Screens in good condition will help stop mosquitoes from getting inside your house.

Stop Mosquito Breeding

  • Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, so it is important to make sure items around your home do not collect water. It only takes one week for a mosquito larva living in water to grow into an adult. Drain any items that can hold water (such as watering cans, open trash cans, etc.) once a week to prevent mosquito breeding. It is also a good idea to clear roof gutters of debris; clean pet water dishes regularly; check and empty children’s toys that may hold water.

REDUCING THE NUMBER OF MOSQUITOES IN BOSTON

BPHC works with the Suffolk CountyMosquito Control Project to reduce the mosquito population in Boston. Products to prevent mosquito larvae from becoming biting adults are applied in catch basins throughout the City. Limited spraying is also done to reduce adult mosquito populations.  For a full list of any upcoming spraying, please visit bphc.org/mosquitocontrol. Boston residents that have questions about mosquito control activities can contact the Suffolk County Mosquito Control Project at 781-899-5730.


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Jun 05
Mayor Janey Declares Heat Emergency, Opens BCYF Cooling Centers To All Residents

​Saturday, June 5, 2021 - Today Mayor Kim Janey declared a heat emergency in the City of Boston beginning Sunday, June 6, 2021 and lasting through Tuesday, June 8, 2021. Temperatures are expected to be in the mid 90s. 

“It will be the first time this year that we’ve seen heat and humidity like this for an extended period of time. We are opening our cooling centers so all residents have an option to come inside and cool off in air conditioning,” said Mayor Janey. “I’m urging everyone to take precautions and find ways to stay cool over the next few days. Please watch out for each other. If you see someone out in the heat who appears in distress and needs help, call 911 immediately.”

To help residents stay cool, Cooling Centers will be open at Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) community centers from Sunday through Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. A full list of centers that will be available can be found at Boston.gov/Heat. Tot sprays are open at parks and playgrounds in the City. Outdoor City-operated pools have not opened for the season at this time. Select indoor pools are available for lap swim. Pre-register to swim at Boston.gov/BCYF-Registration

Information on heat safety tips can be found online at boston.gov/heat and by following @CityofBoston on Twitter. Residents can sign up for Alert Boston, the City's emergency notification system, to receive emergency alerts by phone, email or text. Sign up online here. Residents are also encouraged to call 311 with any questions about available city services.

The Mayor issued the following heat safety tips for all members of the public:

  • Children and pets should never be left alone in vehicles, even for short periods of time.

  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids regardless of activity level. Avoid alcoholic beverages and liquids high in sugar or caffeine.

  • Keep cool with frequent cool showers, shade, and air conditioning or fans. 

  • Adults and children should use sunscreen containing an SPF-30 or higher and wear protective, loose-fitting clothing, including long sleeve shirts and hats.

  • Limit outdoor activity to morning and evening hours. Rest often in shady areas and be extra cautious from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., when the sun's UV radiation is strongest.

  • Know the signs of heat exhaustion. Heavy sweating, cool and clammy skin, dizziness, nausea, and muscle aches could all be signs of heat exhaustion. If symptoms persist, call 911 immediately. Do not delay care. Heat is the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the US and can exacerbate underlying illnesses.

  • If you have a child in your home, use child window guards in addition to screens on any open window on the second story or above. Falls are the leading cause of injury for children under the age of six. 

  • Secure all window air conditioner units according to the manufacturer's specifications.

  • Please call or virtually check on neighbors, especially older adults, and people with disabilities.

Helping the Homeless:

  • If you see individuals out in the heat who appear immobile or disoriented, please call 911. Please ask them if they need assistance.

  • The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) operates emergency shelters at 112 Southampton St. and 794 Massachusetts Ave. These facilities are air conditioned and open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Amnesty has been called because of extremely high temperatures so those with non-violent restrictions can access shelter. 

  • The City of Boston works closely with a network of shelter providers to ensure there is adequate shelter, food, water, and a cool respite from the heat.

  • Street outreach teams providing recovery services remain operating as normal during summertime weather. Outreach teams are providing sunscreen and water on outreach routes and in the comfort station. 

  • Engagement Center: The Engagement Center remains open from 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. Air conditioning, water, sunscreen and nursing are provided on site. Showers and running water are available.

  • The Comfort Station: The Comfort Station is open weekdays from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Water, sunscreen and nursing are provided on site. 

Playground Safety:  

  • Children should always wear shoes on playgrounds because surfaces can become extremely hot and cause burns, even splash pads and spray decks.

Outdoor Fires and Grilling: 

  • No outdoor fires are allowed in Boston, including fire pits, chimineas, and bonfires.

  • Charcoal grills must be on the ground and away from buildings. Keep in mind the wind and never leave unattended. When done, dispose of the ash in a metal container once completely out.

  • Propane tank grills are only allowed on first floor porches with steps to the ground. Do not place propane tank grills near air conditioners or up against a building. Make sure all connections are tight and never carry propane tanks into a home.

  • Grills should always be used in a well-ventilated area.

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May 11
Mayor Janey Announces Expansion Of In-Person Critical City Services

​Tuesday, May 11, 2021 - Mayor Kim Janey today announced the upcoming expansion of in-person city services at Boston City Hall, the Boston Public Library system (BPL), and the Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF). These services will expand access to in-person city services and programming and opportunities for Boston families ahead of summer, as public health metrics continue to improve.

“As the City prepares for summer and our continued recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical that we bring more city services back in person, especially as our public health metrics improve,” said Mayor Janey. “I want to thank all of our city departments that pivoted at the beginning of the pandemic to continue to deliver critical services to residents safely. I’m excited to welcome back more residents to City Hall and for the joy that reopening our libraries and city-sponsored summer programming will bring.”

As of May 4, 2021, 44.3 percent of Bostonians are fully vaccinated, and 64.5 percent have received at least one dose. The citywide community positivity rate continues to decrease, dropping to 2.4 percent, with no neighborhoods above the 5.0 percent threshold. New positive tests in the City of Boston decreased by 28 percent over the past week, averaging 80.1 new positive tests per day. The total number of COVID-19 tests conducted in Boston remained stable at 2,960 tests, a decrease of 1% in the past week. COVID-related emergency room visits decreased by 6 percent over a two week period, and the percentage of occupied non-surgical ICU beds is 91 percent, under the threshold of 95 percent. We currently have 75 COVID-19 patients in Boston hospitals. That is one of the lowest numbers recorded since the start of the pandemic. 

The Boston Public Health Commission closely tracks six core metrics to monitor the progress of the City’s response, to guide decision making and to shape our response moving forward. The metrics being monitored include trends related to the number of positive tests, overall positivity and how COVID-19 is impacting our healthcare system. 

Due to continuing improvement in the City’s COVID-19 metrics, the following service changes will take effect in the coming weeks:

Boston City Hall

Starting Monday, June 7, 2021, Boston City Hall will be open to the public by appointment only for a fourth day each week. In addition to Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, residents will be able to make in-person appointments on Monday as well. For the latest status of City departments, visit here.

Boston Public Library

The Boston Public Library will reopen for limited in-person services in June. With these expanded services, BPL will prioritize bringing back critical services that help residents with economic and educational recovery, and will be scheduling robust summer programming for both adults and youth. All reopening plans will follow the latest public health guidance, and BPL will provide further information in the coming weeks. 

Boston Center for Youth & Families (BCYF)

Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) will increase its youth programming to align with Phase Four, Step One of the Reopening Massachusetts plan. This will allow for the expansion of programming for children and youth, including arts and crafts, fitness classes, and game nights. Additionally, BCYF will offer summer day programs at several centers this summer, including Camp Joy, which provides programming for children and young adults with special needs. BCYF will provide further updates about their summer programming in the coming weeks, all in accordance with public health guidance. For more information, visit boston.gov/BCYF.

“Boston’s long fight against COVID-19 is starting to bring the end of this pandemic into view,” said Mayor Janey. “I’ve asked my chiefs of Health and Human Services and Economic Development to take a look at accelerating Boston’s reopening timeline, in light of improving public health metrics across all of Boston’s communities.”

The City of Boston will continue to monitor public health metrics and adjust services and openings based on the latest COVID-19 data and trends. For more information on reopening, visit boston.gov/reopening

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Boston Public Health Commission
1010 Massachusetts Ave, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02118.
Phone:(617) 534-5395 Email: info@bphc.org