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Jan 23
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): The Latest

Visit the BPHC Main Page on COVID-19 

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 January 22, 2021): (Updated Monday-Friday)

  • 50,325 confirmed cases 

  • 42,877 recovered

  • 1,113 deaths


Boston Race/Ethnicity Case Data: 

(Updated Monday-Friday)

Race/Ethnicity

Known Cases

Percentage of Known Cases

Asian/PI

2,451

5%

Black/African-American

10,851

24%

Latinx/Hispanic

13,820

31%

Other

3,170

7%

White

14,394

32%

Total Race/Ethnicity Identified Cases in Boston

44,686

88.8% of total cases in Boston have known Race/Ethnicity data

Total Cases in Boston 

50,325

 


Boston Race/Ethnicity Death Data: 

(Updated Monday-Friday)

Race/Ethnicity

Deaths

Percentage of Known Deaths

Asian/PI

83

7%

Black/African-American

364

33%

Latinx/Hispanic

131

12%

Other

36

3%

White

497

45%

Total Race/Ethnicity Identified Deaths in Boston

1,111

99.8% of total deaths in Boston have known Race/Ethnicity data

Total Deaths in Boston

1,113

 


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: 01-22-2021

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. The next update will be 01-27-2021.

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 January 17, 2021). The next update will be 01-27-2021.

NEIGHBORHOOD

​NUMBER TESTED

OF TESTED, CUMULATIVE % POSITIVE​

TESTING RATE PER 100,000 RESIDENTS​

East Boston - 02128

32,715

18.4%

69,714.7

Dorchester - 02122, 02124

42,832

​16.3%

52,957.5

Hyde Park - 02136

20,381

15.8%

59,553.5

Dorchester - 02121, 02125

39,259

15.7%

61,077.8

Mattapan - 02126

13,817

​14.4%

46,693.3

Roslindale - 02131

19,518

12.7%

57,795.1

West Roxbury - 02132

16,328

10.5%

57,317.4

South Boston - 02127, 02210

30,296

10.4%

75,562.4

Roxbury - 02119, 02120

36,864

10.3%

85,477.8

South End - 02111, 02118 

31,729

7.7%

88,737.6

C​harlestown - 02129 

12,319

7.2%

63,454.2

Jamaica Plain - 02130

30,804

7.0%​

76,291.0

Allston/Brighton - 02163, 02134, 02135 

52,772

6.5%​

79,255.1

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

41,684

5.3%​

74,805.7

Fenway - 02115, 02215

69,662

2.6%​

127,290.0

Boston

​ 516,828

9.5%

76,069.8

*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. (January 11-17). The next update will be 01-27-21.

NEIGHBORHOOD

​NUMBER TESTED

POSITIVE 
TESTS

% POSITIVE

Roxbury - 02119, 02120

2,069

231

11.2%

Dorchester - 02122, 02124

3,657

397

10.9%

Hyde Park - 02136

2,070

221

10.7%

Dorchester - 02121, 02125

3,056

310

10.1%

East Boston - 02128

2,786

271

9.7%

Roslindale - 02131

1,921

170

8.8%

Mattapan - 02126

1,396

118

8.5%

South Boston - 02127, 02210

2,809

182

6.5%

West Roxbury - 02132

1,664

104

6.3%

Charlestown - 02129

1,205

63

5.2%

Allston/Brighton - 02163, 02134, 02135

3,684

182

4.9%

Fenway - 02115, 02215

1,503

73

4.9%

South End - 02111, 02118

2,279

110

4.8%

Jamaica Plain - 02130

2,811

111

3.9%

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

3,582

124

3.5%

Boston

37,455

2,686

7.2%

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


Click here for the BPHC 01-21-2021 Weekly COVID-19 Report

Number of deaths at long-term care facilities: 450 (Updated weekly: 01-19-2021)

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

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website on COVID-19

Massachusetts Department of Public Health website on COVID-19


Media Contact: 

Caitlin McLaughlin 

cmclaughlin@bphc.org 

(857-393-0002)

Jan 17
BPHC Statement on First Case of COVID-19 Variant Confirmed in Massachusetts

Sunday, January 17, 2021- The first case of the COVID variant B.1.1.7. has been found in a Boston resident who traveled internationally. This individual, a woman in her 20s, returned to Boston on January 3, 2021 and had a brief (approximately 2 hour) layover at Logan International Airport before traveling to another state.  This individual remains in that state and is currently asymptomatic. The Boston Public Health Commission's Infectious Disease Bureau is working closely with our partners at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health on a thorough case investigation. The health and well-being of all Boston residents remains our top priority. We will monitor this situation closely and we continue to closely watch the City's COVID-19 metrics.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no evidence that this variant causes more severe illness or increased risk of death. However, we know this variant of the virus spreads more easily and quickly than other variants. A higher transmission rate will lead to more cases and could potentially lead to a burden our health care system. That is why it is critical we all stay vigilant and do everything we can to stop the spread of this virus. We need everyone to continue to stay home as much as possible, always wear a face mask when outside your home, keep at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and others, wash your hands often and continue to get tested. 

###


Media Contact: 

Caitlin McLaughlin 

cmclaughlin@bphc.org 

(857-393-0002)


Jan 05
Mayor Walsh Announces Extension of Modified Phase Two, Step Two Of Reopening Plan in Boston

​Tuesday, January 5, 2021 - In an effort to reduce the further spread of COVID-19 after the holidays and its impact on Boston's health care system and essential services, Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the City of Boston will remain in a modified Phase Two, Step Two of the Reopening Massachusetts plan for at least three more weeks. The current state of reopening in Boston includes restrictions announced by both the City and State in mid-December and can be found on Boston.gov/reopening

"We are in one of the most serious points of the COVID-19 pandemic so far. Our case numbers are concerning and our hospital numbers continue to be higher than we'd like," said Mayor Walsh. "Consistent with our cautious approach since the beginning of this crisis, we are extending this pause in reopening for at least another three weeks. This is not about targeting specific sectors as the cause of viral spread, but an effort to reduce overall activity happening outside people's homes. I urge everyone to do their part so that we can slow the spread of COVID-19 and eventually lift these restrictions." 

The City of Boston had been in Step One of Phase Three of the Reopening Massachusetts plan since July 6 before returning to a modified Step Two of Phase Two on December 16, 2020. Boston has been experiencing a steady increase in COVID-19 cases among its residents since Thanksgiving, with the citywide positive test rate at 8.8 percent for the week ending on December 30, 2020, up from 6.5 percent for the prior week. The percentage of occupied adult non-surge ICU beds at Boston hospitals is at 93 percent as of January 3, 2021. 

Consistent with City and State guidance, gathering limits remain at 10 people for indoor settings and 25 people for outdoor settings for both private and public spaces. 

Read the Boston Public Health Commission's "Order Establishing Supplemental COVID-19 Restrictions in the City of Boston."

The following industries in the City of Boston are required to remain closed for at least three weeks (January 27, 2021): 

  • Indoor fitness centers and health clubs, including gyms using alternative spaces. One-on-one personal training sessions are allowed.

  • Movie theaters

  • Museums

  • Aquariums

  • Indoor recreational and athletic facilities (except for youth 18 and under)

    • This does not apply to collegiate or professional sports. 

    • Indoor pools may remain open for all ages under pre-registration format structure limited to one person per swim lane. 

  • Indoor recreational venues with potential for low-contact (batting cages, driving ranges, bowling alleys, rock-climbing) 

  • Sightseeing and other organized tours (bus tours, duck tours, harbor cruises, whale watching)

  • Indoor historical spaces & sites 

  • Indoor event spaces (meeting rooms, ballrooms, private party rooms, social clubs)

  • Indoor and outdoor gaming arcades associated with gaming devices

The following industries in the City of Boston are allowed to remain open with the following restrictions in place for at least three weeks (January 27, 2021): 

  • Indoor dining in restaurants may remain in operation with restricted bar seating. The 90 minute limit on seatings to reduce crowding and prevent the spread of COVID-19 will be strictly enforced. No member of any dining party may remain in a restaurant for more than 90 minutes in any calendar day. Ancillary activities such as pool tables, darts, trivia, etc. are prohibited. 

    • Bar seating is prohibited unless express written approval is issued by Boston's Licensing Board, after licensees submit a Bar Seating Plan for review and approval.

  • Indoor non-athletic instructional classes in arts, education & life sciences for persons 18 years and older may continue to operate within the 10-person capacity limit. 

  • Outdoor event spaces used for gatherings and celebrations within the 25-person capacity limit, including those in parks, reservations, and other outdoor spaces not designated in Phase Four.

  • Outdoor theaters and outdoor performance venues may continue to operate within the 25-person capacity limit.

  • Motion picture, television and streaming production may continue to operate. 

Per State guidance in effect since December 26, 2020, the following industries in the City of Boston are currently allowed to operate with the following restrictions in place:

  • Office spaces may remain open at 25 percent capacity. Employers are strongly encouraged to allow employees to work from home as much as possible. 

  • Indoor dining in restaurants may remain in operation at 25 percent of seating capacity (calculated by the occupancy load as stated on a licensee's certificate of inspection issued under the State Building Code. Workers and staff are excluded from the occupancy count.)

  • Close contact personal services may remain open at 25 percent capacity (workers and staff are excluded from the occupancy count.)

  • Places of worship may remain open at 25 percent capacity (workers and staff are excluded from the occupancy count.)

  • Retail businesses may remain open at 25 percent capacity (workers and staff are excluded from the occupancy count.)

  • Golf facilities may remain open at 25 percent capacity (for indoor spaces)

As a reminder, the following State orders remain in effect to reduce the transmission of the virus: 

  •  Temporary capacity and gathering limits: 10 persons indoors and 25 persons outdoors for both private homes and event venues and public spaces. 

  • Face coverings order: face masks or cloth face coverings are required in all public places, whether indoors or outdoors, even where they are able to maintain 6 feet of distance from others. 

  •  Travel order: all visitors entering Massachusetts, including returning residents are required to:

    • Complete the Massachusetts Travel Form prior to arrival, unless visiting from a lower-risk state designated by the Department of Public Health.

    • Quarantine for 10 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72-hours prior to arrival in Massachusetts.

  •  Stay-at-Home Advisory: residents of Massachusetts are advised to stay home between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Boston has been steadfast in its commitment to supporting the small business community. To date, the Office of Economic Development has issued more than $13.3M in direct grants to 3,915 businesses in Boston. The Reopen Boston Fund, still accepting applications, can help with the expenses of safely opening and operating businesses. Of the $13.3M, nearly $6.7 million in debt-free grants have been distributed to over 1,850 small businesses in every neighborhood across the City of Boston through the Office of Economic Development's  Small Business Relief Fund. Of the Funds announced last month, the City has distributed $4M to 346 businesses through commercial rent relief, supporting certified women, minority, and veteran owned small businesses, and restaurant relief. And to further assist the City's small businesses, the City of Boston has created a list of suppliers to help businesses source the personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies required to ensure the safety of employees and customers as industries reopen. 

To better support arts organizations facing financial losses, canceled programming, and closures caused by COVID-19, the City of Boston established a $1 million Arts and Culture COVID-19 Fund, which awarded grants to 146 small and mid-sized arts and culture nonprofits to adapt their programs, spaces, and operating models. Throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency, the City of Boston in partnership with Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) have also awarded grants totaling over $330,000 to over 600 artists as part of the Boston Artist Relief Fund, which was established to support artists whose creative practices and incomes were adversely impacted by the pandemic.

For more information about Boston's reopening, please visit  boston.gov/reopening.For additional questions or programs, please visit our coronavirus website or call 3-1-1, Boston's 24-hour constituent hotline. Text BOSCOVID to 888-777 to receive text alerts on a regular basis, available in 11 languages.

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Dec 21
Mayor Walsh Announces Free, Mobile COVID-19 Testing in Hyde Park, Roxbury and Jamaica Plain

Sunday, December 20, 2020 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced this week that free, mobile COVID-19 testing is available to anyone regardless of symptoms. Currently, the City of Boston's mobile teams, in partnerships with Whittier Street Health Center,  East Boston Neighborhood Health Center and LCG Boston, are located in Roxbury, Hyde Park and Jamaica Plain. The Hyde Park site's expanded testing capacity will increase the accessibility of COVID-19 testing for any resident.

"Expanding access to COVID-19 testing, particularly in communities facing higher positive test rates of COVID-19, is vital to our response. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have placed equity at the center of our response to ensure every Bostonian can stay healthy," said Mayor Walsh. "As we continue to see elevated COVID-19 activity in Boston, I want to thank our partners for their continued support for the City of Boston and our residents. In Boston, our decisions and planning are guided by public health metrics and the safety of all Bostonians."

East Boston Neighborhood Health Center: Hyde Park

Free COVID-19 testing in Hyde Park is operating five days a week, totaling 40 hours of testing availability. Additionally, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center's testing capacity has expanded to 500 tests per day at its mobile site. Testing is drive-thru only, located at Boston Renaissance Charter Public School at 1432 Hyde Park Avenue. Individuals must make an appointment online, available through Saturday, December 26. Testing will not be available Thursday, December 24 and Friday, December 25. 

"Testing takes on renewed importance during the holiday season, especially given the current surge in cases, and we're honored to partner with Mayor Walsh to support this critical need for the City of Boston," said President and Chief Executive Officer of the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center Manny Lopes. "Safe preparation and planning starts now."


Whittier Street Health Center: Roxbury

Whittier Street Health Center has COVID-19 testing available in Roxbury at Washington Park Mall at 333 Warren Street until December 26. Anyone can get tested for free and regardless of symptoms. Individuals are asked to pre-register by calling 617-858-2406 before visiting the site during the hours of operation listed below.

Tuesday, December 22 - Thursday, December 24: 1:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, December 26: 10:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

"We are grateful to partner with the City to provide consistent access to COVID-19 testing, which is crucial to help identify, treat, isolate or hospitalize people who are infected. In addition to testing, we also always want to encourage people to follow the CDC guidelines to wear a mask, wash your hands, and social distance," said Frederica M. Williams, President & CEO of Whittier Street Health Center. "These prevention strategies are critical in controlling the spread of the virus and keeping all of us safe and healthy."


LCG Boston: Jamaica Plain

In Jamaica Plain, testing is available in partnership with LCG through Wednesday, December 30 at the Anna Mae Cole Community Center, located at the Mildred Hailey Apartments at 24 Heath Street. Testing is available to anyone at no cost and regardless of symptoms and insurance, and by walk-up only during the hours below. With questions, individuals should contact the Mayor's Health Line at 617-534-5050.

Sunday, December 20: 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. 

Monday, December 21 - Tuesday, December 22: 2:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. 

Wednesday, December 23: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. 

Sunday, December 27: 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. 

Monday, December 28 - Tuesday, December 29:  2:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. 

Wednesday, December 30: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.


The mobile site testing initiative was announced by Mayor Walsh in May as a way to help fill any gaps in testing availability, prioritizing neighborhoods and populations that need dedicated testing efforts to create equitable access to testing. The mobile testing teams have previously been located in Roxbury, Allston, South Boston, Mattapan, East Boston, and Dorchester. 

In addition to the City's mobile testing sites, COVID-19 testing is available at over 30 locations across the city. Individuals can call the Mayor's Health Line with any questions using 617-534-5050.  View a complete list of all testing sites.

The City of Boston has been partnering with community health centers to increase access to testing, particularly in neighborhoods experiencing higher rates of COVID-19. As of Sunday, December 13, 2020, there were 447,170 COVID-19 tests of Boston residents. For all Boston residents, the current community positivity for tests increased from 7.2% for the prior week (November 30- December 6) to 8.0% for the current week (December 7-13). The latest numbers of cases from the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) by neighborhoods are  available online.

Resources and information about COVID-19 are available online. Resources available on Boston.gov and through City departments include support for renters and homeowners; small businesses; free meals for Boston students; free toiletries for Boston students; support for older residents; information on homeless shelters; resources for those in recovery or those who have a substance use disorder; and mental health resources. More information on Boston's reopening can be found at boston.gov/reopening.

For additional questions or programs, please visit our coronavirus website or call 3-1-1, Boston's 24-hour constituent hotline. Text BOSCOVID to 888-777 to receive text alerts on a regular basis, available in 11 languages.

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Dec 17
Mayor Walsh To Lift Snow Emergency And Parking Ban at 7A.M. Friday, Boston Public School Buildings To Reopen For Students Learning In Person

Thursday, December 17, 2020 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the declared snow emergency and parking ban will be lifted at 7 a.m. on Friday, December 18, giving residents parked in participating discounted lots or garages until 9 a.m. to move their cars before regular rates resume. The Public Works Department (PWD) currently has almost 300 pieces of snow and ice control equipment on Boston's streets and is treating streets with salt, following a snow storm that resulted in 12.5 inches of snow.

"I'd like to thank the people of Boston for their great compliance with the snow emergency and parking ban," said Mayor Walsh. "It allows our hardworking crews to effectively and efficiently plow the snow, making our streets safer for all. I ask everyone to keep up the good work and continue to keep sidewalks and pedestrian ramps in front of your properties clear. This is a great way to help make your neighborhood safer and more accessible for everyone, especially for older residents and those with disabilities." 

Residents are able to look up towed cars on the City of Boston's online database, call the Boston Transportation Department (BTD) at (617) 635-3900 or call the Boston Police Department at (617) 343-4629 to find out which tow company was used if it was not towed by BTD.  

Boston City Hall and 1010 Massachusetts Avenue will reopen tomorrow to the public. Boston Public Schools buildings will reopen for students who are currently learning in-person. All other students will return to a full day of remote learning. Boston Public Library locations will be open for BPL To Go services. Boston Centers for Youth & Families in-person programming is set to resume. 

As a reminder, trash and recycling pick-up was cancelled citywide today. Neighborhoods with a Thursday and Friday pick-up schedule will be delayed by one day. Residents are encouraged to download the Trash Day App. Street sweeping is cancelled until further notice. Some COVID-19 testing sites were closed on Thursday. Please check each site's hours of operation here and call before going. 

Rules on clearing snow:

  • Property owners must fully clear snow, sleet and ice from sidewalks and curb ramps abutting the property within three hours after the snowfall ends or within three hours after sunrise if the snow ends overnight. For this storm, snow will have ended after sunset; consequently, residents have until 10 a.m. tomorrow to complete clearing their sidewalk. We highly encourage people to clear their sidewalk sooner. Curb and pedestrian ramps to the street should be cleared fully and continually over the duration of the storm to ensure accessibility for individuals with disabilities. 

  • Do not throw snow from the sidewalk or private property into the street. 

  • Failure to comply with the rules can result in fines issued by the Code Enforcement Division. Fines associated with failing to shovel sidewalks or throwing snow from private property onto public streets can be found here.

Bitterly cold weather between 14 and 30 degrees is expected on Friday into Saturday. Street outreach teams will operate with extended hours and provide mobile outreach vans on the streets in the evening and throughout the day. Residents are reminded if you see homeless and vulnerable individuals out in the cold who appear immobile, disoriented or underdressed for the cold, please call 911.

Safety tips:

  • Keep catch basins and fire hydrants clear. For a map of catch basins and fire hydrants, visit here. You can assist in keeping hydrants clear of snow so the Boston Fire Department can access them quickly in case of emergency.

  • Shoveling snow requires significant exertion; please be cautious and pay attention to symptoms. Stop if you feel chest pain, shortness of breath, lightheaded, nauseous/vomiting. Call 911 if those symptoms do not resolve quickly.

  • Please take extra care on our streets while walking or driving, staying alert for other people on the road.  

  • Carbon monoxide poisoning is a concern during winter weather, especially with the use of generators. Residents should use their home heating systems wisely and safely, and have a working carbon monoxide detector on each floor of the home. Call 911 immediately if you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning.

  • Sitting in a car while idling can be deadly if the tailpipe is blocked. Do not let children sit in an idling car while shoveling. Clear any household exhaust pipes of snow like gas exhaust from the heating system or dryer.

  • Have a contractor check the roof to see if snow needs to be removed. If roof snow can be removed from the ground with the use of a snow-rake, do so with caution. Avoid working from ladders and be mindful of slippery surfaces. 

Residents are encouraged to sign up for emergency notifications through AlertBoston and call 311 for non-emergency related issues. Please follow @CityofBoston and visit boston.gov/snow for the latest updates.

###


Dec 16
Mayor Walsh Declares Snow Emergency, Parking Ban In Effect Today at 6 P.M.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today declared a snow emergency ahead of the forecasted winter storm. Total snow accumulations may range between 9 to 13 inches, with the potential to up to 15 inches in some areas, and winds as high as 45 mph are expected. Residents are advised that a parking ban is in effect starting at 6:00 p.m., when vehicles parked on the street will start to be towed. The City is urging residents to abide by snow regulations and all commuters to utilize caution when traveling during the Thursday commutes. Dry weather paired with colder temperatures and wind chill are anticipated on Thursday and Friday following the storm.

"Boston hasn't seen a sizable snowstorm since March of 2019 -- over 21 months ago. I am urging everyone to be ready and prepared," said Mayor Walsh. "I ask all our residents and workers to be alert and remain cautious on our roads and sidewalks. Our Public Works Department (PWD) will be working hard to pre-treat and clean our roads during this snowfall, and I thank them for their hard work. We are asking residents and businesses to do their part by staying safe, shoveling their sidewalks, walkways, catch basins, and fire hydrants, and looking out for one another as neighbors. The City of Boston will continue to share updates throughout the storm."

  • A snow emergency has been declared. A parking ban is in effect starting today, Wednesday, December 16 at 6:00 p.m. All vehicles parked on a posted snow emergency artery will be towed beginning at 6:00 p.m. today. Residents can find a list of discounted garages here and begin parking at participating garages starting at 4:00 p.m. today.

  • Trash and Recycling pick-up is cancelled citywide on Thursday, December 17. Neighborhoods with a Thursday and Friday pick-up schedule will be delayed by one day. Residents are encouraged to download the  Trash Day App

  • Starting at midnight, Street Sweeping is cancelled until further notice. 

  • All Boston Public Schools (BPS) school buildings will be closed. All students, including students who were scheduled to report for in-person learning, will attend classes online for a partial day that will end 2.5 hours earlier than the regularly scheduled dismissal time. There will be no in-person learning on Thursday.  

  • As indicated in signage posted in BPS school parking lots, parking is not allowed during snowstorms. Vehicles may be towed if they are parked in BPS parking lots this evening.

  • All BPS meal distribution sites will be open today Wednesday, December 16 until 6:00 p.m. instead of Thursday, December 17. Other meal sites in the City will also be closed on Thursday, December 17. They will be open today to distribute extra meals. Residents are encouraged to check with their meal site for hours. 

  • The City-sponsored mobile COVID-19 testing sites at Washington Park Mall and 1432 Hyde Park Avenue will be closed on Thursday. For other updates on testing site availability and closures, please check hours of operation here

Boston City Hall and all City departments will be closed on Thursday, December 17. Boston Public Library locations will be closed, including BPL To Go services. Residents with appointments scheduled on Thursday, December 17 will be contacted by City departments to reschedule. All Boston Centers for Youth & Families are closed and in person programming is cancelled. 

The Public Works Department will have equipment to pre-treat Boston's roads prior to the snowfall starting and has the ability to put over 600 pieces of equipment on City streets. The Public Works Department currently has 44,000 tons of salt on hand.

The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is in constant contact with the National Weather Service to receive detailed forecasts for the City of Boston and ensure City departments have plans in place to handle the forecast. Residents can sign up to receive AlertBoston notifications by phone, text, or email. Residents can call 311 for non-emergency related issues.

Rules on clearing snow:

  • Property owners must fully clear snow, sleet and ice from sidewalks and curb ramps abutting the property within three hours after the snowfall ends or three hours after sunrise if the snow ends overnight. Curb and pedestrian ramps to the street should be cleared fully and continually over the duration of the storm to ensure accessibility for individuals with disabilities. If a storm will last over an extended period of time, property owners are asked to continually check ramps abutting their property for compliance. 

  • Removal of snow, ice from a private property to the street or sidewalk is prohibited. 

  • Failure to comply with the rules can result in fines issued by PWD's Code Enforcement Division. Fines associated with improper removal of snow can be found here.

Caring for vulnerable populations:

  • If you see homeless and vulnerable individuals out in the cold who appear immobile, disoriented or underdressed for the cold, please call 911.

  • The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) coordinates a city-wide network of emergency shelters, outreach providers, city agencies and first responders to assist those in need of shelter.

  • Boston's emergency shelters are open 24 hours and will accept any person in need. Men can access shelter at the 112 Southampton Street Shelter, and women should go to the Woods-Mullen Shelter at 794 Massachusetts Ave. BPHC and the City work closely with shelter providers in the city to ensure that no client is without shelter, food, resources, and a warm respite from the cold.

  • The City brought over 200 beds for the winter spread throughout sites in Brighton, Mission Hill and downtown. Additionally, the City worked with the State to add additional capacity in locations surrounding and outside of Boston.

  • The BPHC Engagement Center is open from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. In addition to providing an indoor heated space, it offers a range of basic amenities and comfort items, such as clean bathroom facilities, water, coffee, and light snacks.

  • During extreme cold weather, street outreach teams operate with extended hours and provide mobile outreach vans on the streets in the evening and throughout the day.

Safety tips:

  • Keep catch basins and fire hydrants clear. For a map of catch basins and fire hydrants, visit here. You can assist in keeping hydrants clear of snow so the Boston Fire Department can access them quickly in case of emergency.

  • Shoveling snow requires significant exertion; please be cautious and pay attention to symptoms. Stop if you feel chest pain, shortness of breath, lightheaded, nauseous/vomiting. Call 911 if those symptoms do not resolve quickly.

  • Snow piles can make navigating intersections dangerous for walkers and drivers. Please take extra care when turning corners with snow piles that might limit visibility.

  • Carbon monoxide poisoning is a concern during winter weather, especially with the use of generators. Residents should use their home heating systems wisely and safely, and have a working carbon monoxide detector on each floor of the home. Call 911 immediately if you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning.

  • Sitting in a car while idling can be deadly if the tailpipe is blocked. Do not let children sit in an idling car while shoveling. Clear any household exhaust pipes of snow like gas exhaust from the heating system or dryer.

  • Have a contractor check the roof to see if snow needs to be removed. If roof snow can be removed from the ground with the use of a snow-rake, do so with caution. Avoid working from ladders and be mindful of slippery surfaces. 

Dress for the weather:

  • Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, residents are required to wear face masks or cloth face coverings in all public places, whether indoors or outdoors, even where they are able to maintain 6 feet of distance from others. 

  • Wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing.

  • Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.

  • Wear mittens over gloves; layering works for your hands as well.

  • Always wear a hat and cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.  

  • Dress children warmly and set reasonable time limits on outdoor play.

  • Restrict infants' outdoor exposure when it is colder than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Watch for signs of frostbite:

  • Signs of frostbite include loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes, and the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately.

Watch for signs of hypothermia:

  • These include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion. If you or someone you know shows any of these symptoms, get in touch with a healthcare provider immediately. If symptoms are severe, call 911.

Heating safety:

  • Never try to heat your home using a charcoal or gas grill, the kitchen stove, or other product not specifically designed as a heater. These can cause a fire or produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide very quickly. 

  • Have your heating system cleaned and checked annually.

  • Install and maintain smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home. Carbon monoxide is an invisible gas produced whenever any fuel is burned. Common sources include oil or gas furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces, stoves, and some space heaters. It has no smell, taste, or color. It is a poison and is deadly.

Emergency home repair resources: 

  • Income-eligible homeowners and Boston's residents over age 60 can receive assistance with winter emergencies and repairs, such as fixing storm damage, leaking roofs, furnaces and leaking/frozen pipes. For assistance, residents should call the Mayor's hotline at 311 or the Boston Home Center at 617-635-HOME (4663).   

  • A grant up to $5,000 is available for income eligible homeowners over age 60 to ease unexpected financial burdens caused by an emergency situation with their home.

  • In addition, the Mayor's Seniors Save program helps income eligible Bostonians over the age of 60 replace old, inefficient heating systems with a brand new heating system even before a catastrophic failure occurs during the cold winter months. Older adults can also call 311 or the Boston Home Center at 617-635-HOME (4663) to be connected with a City staffer to provide additional details.   

For more information, please visit the Winter in Boston guide and follow @CityofBoston on Twitter. 

 

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Dec 14
Mayor Walsh Announces Boston to Temporarily Return To Modified Phase Two, Step Two of Reopening Plan

Monday, December 14, 2020 - In an effort to reduce the further spread of COVID-19 and its impact on Boston's health care system and essential services, Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced that effective Wednesday, December 16, the City of Boston will return back to a modified Phase Two, Step Two of the  Reopening Massachusetts plan. Mayors and city leaders from Massachusetts are joining Boston in announcing similar restrictions in their cities and towns, including Arlington, Brockton, Lynn, Newton, Somerville, and Winthrop. 

"Unfortunately, we are at the point where we need to take stronger action to control COVID-19 in Boston, and urgently, to ensure our health care workers have the capacity to care for everyone in need," said Mayor Walsh. "We are hopeful that by reducing opportunities for transmission throughout the region, we will reduce the spread of this deadly virus and maintain our ability to keep critical services open. We continue to urge everyone to take personal responsibility and follow the public health guidelines while visiting any public space or business, and employers to allow their employees to work from home as much as possible. Together, we will be able to get this virus under control, save lives, and ultimately come back stronger." 

Read the Boston Public Health Commission's "Order Establishing Supplemental COVID-19 Restrictions in the City of Boston."

The City of Boston had been in Step One of Phase Three of the Reopening Massachusetts plan since July 6, 2020. Boston has been experiencing a steady increase in COVID-19 cases among its residents since Thanksgiving, with the citywide positive test rate at 7.2 percent for the week ending on December 6, 2020, up from 5.2 percent for the prior week. The percentage of occupied adult non-surge ICU beds at Boston hospitals is at 90 percent as of December 10, 2020. Returning to a modified Phase Two, Step Two requires the closure of certain businesses designated as Phase Three. Gatherings in private and public settings are required to have no more than 10 people for indoor settings and 25 people for outdoor settings. 

The following industries in the City of Boston are required to close starting Wednesday, December 16 for at least three weeks: 

  • Indoor fitness centers and health clubs, including gyms using alternative spaces. One-on-one personal training sessions are allowed.

  • Movie theaters

  • Museums

  • Aquariums

  • Indoor recreational and athletic facilities (except for youth 18 and under)

    • This does not apply to collegiate or professional sports. Collegiate sports teams in the City of Boston may continue to use indoor recreational facilities and fitness centers.

    • Indoor pools may remain open for all ages under pre-registration format structure limited to one person per swim lane. 

  • Indoor recreational venues with potential for low-contact (batting cases, driving ranges, bowling alleys, rock-climbing) 

  • Sightseeing and other organized tours (bus tours, duck tours, harbor cruises, whale watching)

  • Indoor historical spaces & sites 

  • Indoor event spaces (meeting rooms, ballrooms, private party rooms, social clubs)

  • Indoor and outdoor gaming arcades associated with gaming devices

The following industries in the City of Boston may remain in operation with the following restrictions in place starting Wednesday, December 16 for at least three weeks:

  •  Office spaces may remain open at 40 percent capacity. Employers are strongly encouraged to allow employees to work from home as much as possible. 

  • Indoor dining in restaurants may remain in operation with restricted bar seating. The 90 minute limit on seatings to reduce crowding and prevent the spread of COVID-19 will be strictly enforced. No member of any dining party may remain in a restaurant for more than 90 minutes in any calendar day. Ancillary activities such as pool tables, darts, trivia, etc. are prohibited. 

    • Bar seating is prohibited unless express written approval is issued by Boston's Licensing Board, after licensees submit a Bar Seating Plan for review and approval. 

  • Indoor non-athletic instructional classes in arts, education & life sciences for persons 18 years and older may continue to operate within the 10-person capacity limit. 

  • Outdoor event spaces used for gatherings and celebrations within the 25-person capacity limit, including those in parks, reservations, and other outdoor spaces not designated in Phase Four.

  • Outdoor theaters and outdoor performance venues may continue to operate within the 25-person capacity limit.

  • Motion picture, television and streaming production may continue to operate. 

"Right now, we need to use every tool in our public health and healthcare toolboxes to mitigate the spread of COVID-19," said Manny Lopes, President and Chief Executive Officer of the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center. "The vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel, but just because help is on the way does not mean the fight is over. For ten months, Mayor Walsh and his team have followed the data and acted in the best interest of the residents of the City of Boston. I applaud him for continuing this strategy and look forward to mobilizing in support of our shared battle against COVID-19."

As a reminder, the following State orders remain in effect to reduce the transmission of the virus: 

  • Face coverings order: face masks or cloth face coverings are required in all public places, whether indoors or outdoors, even where they are able to maintain 6 feet of distance from others. 

  •  Travel order: all visitors entering Massachusetts, including returning residents are required to:

    • Complete the  Massachusetts Travel Form prior to arrival, unless visiting from a  lower-risk state designated by the Department of Public Health.

    • Quarantine for 14 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72-hours prior to arrival in Massachusetts.

  •  Stay-at-Home Advisory: residents of Massachusetts are advised to stay home between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Boston has been steadfast in its commitment to supporting the small business community. The  Reopen Boston Fund, still accepting applications, has issued $3.1 million to more than 1,700 businesses to help with the expenses of safely opening and operating businesses, and is still accepting applications. In total, nearly $6.7 million in debt-free grants have been distributed to over 1,850 small businesses in every neighborhood across the City of Boston through the Office of Economic Development's  Small Business Relief Fund. Last month, the City launched three new funds totaling $6.3 million that will support small businesses in Boston that have been affected by COVID-19, focusing on commercial rent relief, supporting certified women, minority, and veteran owned small businesses, and restaurant relief. And to further assist the City's small businesses, the City of Boston has  created a list of suppliers to help businesses source the personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies required to ensure the safety of employees and customers as industries reopen. 

The City of Boston will be hosting webinars on Tuesday, December 15 to provide guidance and answer questions from business owners. All of the webinars will be available live on the  Office of Economic Development's Facebook page. Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese simultaneous interpretation will be available for all of the webinars and small business conference calls. 

To better support arts organizations facing financial losses, canceled programming, and closures caused by COVID-19, the City of Boston established a $1 million Arts and Culture COVID-19 Fund, which awarded grants to 146 small and mid-sized arts and culture nonprofits to adapt their programs, spaces, and operating models. Throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency, the City of Boston in partnership with Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) have also awarded grants totaling over $330,000 to over 600 artists as part of the Boston Artist Relief Fund, which was established to support artists whose creative practices and incomes were adversely impacted by the pandemic.

Starting today, the Boston Public Schools (BPS) welcomed an additional 1,700 high needs students for in-person learning across 28 schools. Students prioritized for in-person learning include students in special education programs and students with limited or interrupted formal education. For more information, please visit bostonpublicschools.org

For more information about Boston's reopening, please visit boston.gov/reopening. For additional questions or programs, please visit our coronavirus website or call 3-1-1, Boston's 24-hour constituent hotline. Text BOSCOVID to 888-777 to receive text alerts on a regular basis, available in 11 languages.

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Dec 11
Mayor Walsh, Boston Public Health Commission Offer Guidance On How to Safely Celebrate the Holidays During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Thursday, December 10, 2020 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) today released guidance for the holiday season during the COVID-19 pandemic, urging residents to stay home and celebrate with people who live in their own household. Boston is experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases among its residents, with the citywide infection rate at 6.9 percent for the week ending on December 3, 2020, up from 4 percent for the prior week. 

"The holiday season looks a lot different this year. We all want to be with the people we love and celebrate our favorite traditions, but we must remember that the coronavirus is still with us," said Mayor Walsh. "Since Thanksgiving, we've seen significant spikes in coronavirus cases and hospital admissions, both in Boston and across Massachusetts, on a daily basis. Now more than ever, we must continue to stay vigilant and follow all the precautions to keep ourselves, our families, and our communities safe." 

Health officials are asking people not to host or attend holiday parties and gatherings. Indoor parties, small or large, increase the chances of transmission of COVID-19 because of social distancing constraints. Additionally, health officials are advising against traveling this holiday season, which may increase the chances of getting or spreading the virus. Traveling to visit family may be especially dangerous for those more likely to get very ill from COVID-19, such as older adults and people with medical conditions.

"We need everyone to stay vigilant and do their part to slow the spread of this virus. Making the difficult choices to be apart this year may mean that you can spend many more years with your loved ones," said Boston Health and Human Services Chief Marty Martinez.

Residents who may have COVID-19, are not feeling well, or have been exposed to the virus should stay home and not host or participate in any in-person gatherings. Residents who are at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, such as older adults or those with certain medical conditions, should also not take part in any in-person gatherings.

Because the COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful and isolating for many people, health officials recommend taking time for self care: to eat healthy foods; get plenty of sleep; find safe ways to stay active to lessen fatigue, anxiety, and sadness; stay informed but take a break from the news; connect virtually with friends and family and keep connected before, during and after the holiday season. If anyone is feeling lonely, overwhelmed or simply needs to talk, people are advised to call or text the Samaritans' 24/7 free and confidential helpline at 877-870-4673. 

 

Travel

Travel may increase the chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, airports, bus stations, train stations, public transport, gas stations, and rest stops are all places travelers can be exposed to the virus in the air and on surfaces.

Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. Health officials remind Boston residents that testing does not eliminate the risk, but can help make travel safer. If you must travel, take steps to protect yourself:

  • Avoid close contact with others. Stay six feet apart (two arms-length) from anyone who does not live in your household.   

  • Wear a face mask or cloth face covering. Massachusetts requires people to wear a face covering in all public places, whether indoors or outdoors, even where people are able to maintain six feet of distance from others.  

  • Avoid touching your mask, eyes, nose and mouth.

  • Get a flu shot before traveling. In addition to COVID-19, travel and gatherings can contribute to the spread of other infectious diseases such as the flu.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, and have alcohol-based hand sanitizer handy for when soap and water is not available.

  • Know what the Massachusetts travel order means for when you get back to Boston

  • Get tested when you return home. Testing is widely available in the City of Boston. Visit boston.gov/covid19-testing for a list of the sites.

  • Reduce non-essential activities for a full week after returning home or for 10 days if not tested afterward.

Hosting or attending gatherings

Health officials strongly advise against hosting or attending holiday parties and gatherings. If hosting or attending a gathering, take the following steps to make it safer:

  • Keep it small and limit the number of guests. In Boston, indoor gatherings at private residences should be 10 people or less.

  • Wash your hands often, especially before eating, drinking or handling food.

  • Ask guests to wear a mask unless eating and drinking, and stay six feet apart at all times. Wearing a face mask or cloth face covering is required by State order in all public places, whether indoors or outdoors.

  • When eating or drinking, have a safe place to store your mask.

  • Avoid direct contact - that means hugs and handshakes - with anyone not from your household.

  • Host outdoor rather than indoor gatherings, if possible. In Boston, outdoor gatherings at private residences should be 25 people or less. Remember even when outside, people are still required by State order to wear masks when not eating or drinking.

  • Avoid holding gatherings in crowded, poorly ventilated spaces with persons who are not in your household.

  • Increase ventilation by opening windows and doors to the fullest extent (if it is safe based on the weather). Place central air and heating on continuous circulation.

  • Avoid singing or shouting, especially indoors. Keep music levels down so people don't have to shout or speak loudly to be heard.

  • If hosting an event, provide extra masks, hand sanitizer and wipes to clean surfaces. Stock bathrooms with plenty of hand soap and single-use towels.

  • Regularly clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces and any shared items between use.

  • Plan ahead. Ask guests to avoid contact with people outside of their own households for 14 days before the gathering.

Food and drinks at small holiday gatherings

  • Do not share food, drink, or any utensils.

  • Encourage guests to bring food and drinks for themselves and for members of their own household.

  • Avoid potluck-style or buffet gatherings.

  • If sharing food, have one person (wearing a face mask and gloves) serve food and use single-use options, like salad dressing and condiment packets, and disposable items like food containers, plates, and utensils.

  • Ask guests to avoid going in and out of areas where food is being prepared and handled, like the kitchen.       

  • Ask everyone to wash their hands with soap and water before and after handling or eating food.

  • Offer no-touch trash cans for guests to easily throw away food items.

  • Wash dishes in the dishwasher or with hot soapy water immediately following the gathering.

  • Change and launder linen items immediately following the event (seating covers, tablecloths, cloth napkins, etc.)

  • Ask everyone to wash their hands with soap and water before and after handling or eating food.

The more of these prevention measures that are put in place, the safer the gathering will be. No one measure is enough to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Again, the safest way to spend the holidays is with only the people in your current household.

Shopping:

  • Wearing a face mask or cloth face covering is required by State order in all public places, whether indoors or outdoors.

  • Stay six feet apart from others whenever possible.

  • Avoid crowds and crowded places.

  • Bring an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and wash your hands often.

  • Stay home if you are sick.

Shoppers are encouraged to consider alternative, safer options:

  • Shop online.

  • Use contactless services, like curbside pick-up.

  • Shop in open air markets, staying six feet away from others and wearing a mask.

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Dec 01
Mayor Walsh Announces Free, Mobile COVID-19 Testing Now Available in Roxbury, Jamaica Plain and East Boston

Tuesday, December 1, 2020 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the availability of free COVID-19 testing for anyone regardless of symptoms at three locations around the City of Boston this week. In addition to the City's existing mobile testing teams in partnership with East Boston Neighborhood Health Center and Whittier Street Health Center, there is now free mobile COVID-19 testing available in Jamaica Plain, located at Anna Mae Cole Community Center until Thursday, December 3. The City of Boston is partnering with LCG to add this site to increase testing capacity citywide, following increased demand for Thanksgiving.

East Boston Neighborhood Health Center will continue its mobile operation in East Boston's Central Square, located on Border Street across from Liberty Plaza Shopping Center. Whittier Street Health Center's mobile COVID-19 testing team will now operate in Washington Park Mall at 333 Warren Street in Roxbury. Both of these COVID-19 mobile testing teams will be available until Saturday, December 5. 

"In the City of Boston, we are committed to providing equitable access to COVID-19 testing in our neighborhoods, and I'm pleased to build on that work with this new resource," said Mayor Walsh. "It's especially important now for anyone who spent the Thanksgiving holiday with people outside their household to get tested and limit the further spread of COVID-19. I want to thank LCG for their partnership on this new testing site, and I want to thank East Boston Neighborhood Health Center and Whittier Street Health Center for their continued partnership on providing free and equitable testing access in Boston."

JAMAICA PLAIN MOBILE TESTING: ANNA MAE COLE COMMUNITY CENTER


In Jamaica Plain, testing is available in partnership with LCG through Thursday, December 3 at the Anna Mae Cole Community Center, located at 10 Lamartine Street Ext. Testing is available to anyone at no cost and regardless of symptoms and insurance. Testing is available by walk-up only during the hours below. With questions, individuals should contact the Mayor's Health Line at 617-534-5050.

Tuesday, December 1: 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.   

Wednesday, December 2: 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, December 3: 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. 

"We are deeply concerned by the rapid uptick in COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts and are honored to work with the City of Boston to provide our residents with the means to obtain free testing. The LCG Boston team is committed to promoting and supporting our neighbors' health and well-being and urges everyone to respect the safety of their loved ones and peers to minimize the risk of spreading the virus," said Aaron Chan R.N. CEO and Founder of LCG Boston. "In light of the holiday season, it is particularly imperative that we work together as a community to flatten the curve by following CDC safety guidelines and getting tested when necessary. Together we can save lives and hasten our mission to return to some semblance of normalcy."

EAST BOSTON NEIGHBORHOOD HEALTH CENTER: CENTRAL SQUARE IN EAST BOSTON

 

East Boston Neighborhood Health Center's COVID-19 mobile testing team, in partnership with the City of Boston, will continue to operate in East Boston at Central Square Park on Border Street, across from Liberty Plaza Shopping Center. Anyone can get tested for free and regardless of symptoms and immigration status. Testing is available by appointment during the hours listed below. Please call 617-568-4500 to schedule an appointment.

Tuesday, December 1 - Friday, December 4: 1:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, December 5: 10:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Since launching, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center's COVID-19 mobile testing team has administered 17,909 tests. For the week of November 23, the site administered a total of 773 tests. 

"It is vitally important that we remain vigilant and focus on reducing the spread of COVID-19 in the community, especially following the Thanksgiving holiday," said East Boston Neighborhood Health Center president and CEO Manny Lopes. "Our actions now will impact the well-being of our neighbors moving forward. Continue to wear a mask, wash your hands, practice social distancing, and get tested."

 WHITTIER STREET HEALTH CENTER: WASHINGTON PARK MALL


The City's mobile COVID-19 testing team in partnership with Whittier Street Health Center is now located in Roxbury at the Washington Park Mall at 333 Warren Street. Testing is available to anyone regardless of symptoms and immigration status, and at no cost. Individuals are asked to pre-register by calling 617-858-2406 before visiting the site during the hours listed below. 

Tuesday, December 1 - Friday, December 4: 1:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, December 5: 10:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

The mobile site testing initiative was announced by Mayor Walsh in May as a way to help fill any gaps in testing availability, prioritizing neighborhoods and populations that need dedicated testing efforts to create equitable access to testing. The mobile testing teams have previously been located in Roxbury, Allston, South Boston, Mattapan, East Boston, and Dorchester. 

In addition to the City's two mobile testing sites and this week's testing in Jamaica Plain, COVID-19 testing is available at over 30 locations across the city. Individuals can call the Mayor's Health Line with any questions using 617-534-5050. View a complete list of all testing sites

Mayor Walsh recently announced the City of Boston launched "Get The Test, Boston," a pledge designed to encourage residents to get a COVID-19 test. Additionally, businesses who sign the pledge will share testing resources and information with their employees. 

The City of Boston has been partnering with community health centers to increase access to testing, particularly in neighborhoods experiencing higher rates of COVID-19. As of Monday, November 23, 2020, there were 401,520 COVID-19 tests of Boston residents. For all Boston residents, the current community positivity for tests decreased from 5.4% for the prior week (November 10-16) to 3.4% for the current week (November 17-23). The latest numbers of cases from the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) by neighborhoods are available online.

Resources and information about COVID-19 are available online. Resources available on Boston.gov and through City departments include support for renters and homeowners; small businesses; free meals for Boston students; free toiletries for Boston students; support for older residents; information on homeless shelters; resources for those in recovery or those who have a substance use disorder; and mental health resources. More information on Boston's reopening can be found at boston.gov/reopening.

For additional questions or programs, please visit our coronavirus website or call 3-1-1, Boston's 24-hour constituent hotline. Text BOSCOVID to 888-777 to receive text alerts on a regular basis, available in 11 languages.

 

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Nov 18
Mayor Walsh, Boston Public Health Commission Offer Guidance on How to Safely Celebrate Thanksgiving During COVID-19 Pandemic

Wednesday, November 18, 2020 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) today released guidance on celebrating Thanksgiving safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, urging residents to stay home and spend the day with people in their own household. Health officials have advised that traditional Thanksgiving gatherings with family and friends can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19. 

"Thanksgiving is normally a time when many families travel long distances to celebrate together. We know these aren't normal times, so we're asking everyone to take the necessary steps to prevent the further transmission of COVID-19 as we enter a critical period in this pandemic," said Mayor Walsh. "We can keep the spirit of thankfulness alive without putting yourself and your loved ones at risk. As always, I want to thank Bostonians for their cooperation during this difficult year."  

Residents who may have COVID-19, are not feeling well, or have been exposed to the virus should stay home and not host or participate in any in-person gatherings. Residents who are at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, such as older adults or those with certain medical conditions, should also not take part in any in-person gatherings.

If you are planning on hosting or attending a Thanksgiving gathering:

  • Keep it small and limit the number of guests. In Boston, indoor gatherings should be 10 people or less.

  • Ask guests to wear a mask unless eating and drinking, and stay 6 feet apart when possible.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between use.

  • Ask guests to avoid going in and out of areas where food is being prepared and handled, like the kitchen.

  • Do not share food, drink, or any utensils.

  • Have guests bring their own food and drink.

  • Avoid any self-serve food or drink options, such as buffets, potlucks, or drink stations.

  • If sharing food, have one person (wearing a face mask and gloves) serve food and use single-use options, like salad dressing and condiment packets, and disposable items like food containers, plates, and utensils.

  • Consider small seating table arrangements in multiple rooms with plenty of spacing, instead of a large family table.

  • Improve ventilation by opening windows and doors.

  • For 14 days before and after holiday gatherings, minimize contact with other people, and leave home only for essential services like going to work, buying groceries, and appointments with doctors.

If you are planning to travel for Thanksgiving: 

Travel increases the chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. If you must travel:

  • Know the higher-risk states and what the Massachusetts travel orders mean for when you return home

    • All visitors entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, are required to quarantine for 14 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72-hours prior to your arrival in Massachusetts.

  • Wear a face covering at all times in public

  • Stay 6 feet apart from anyone who is not in your household

  • Get a flu shot before traveling, if you have not already

  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer

  • Avoid touching your mask, eyes, nose and mouth

BPHC health officials encourage families to find safer, alternative or virtual ways to celebrate Thanksgiving. The safest celebrations involve people from your household, are outdoors, and allow for social distancing and other safety measures. 

Lower risk activities:

  • Having a small Thanksgiving dinner with only people who live in your household.

  • Host a virtual dinner with extended family and friends. Show off your favorite dishes and share your favorite recipes.

  • Host a Thanksgiving meal outdoors, if possible.

  • Go for a walk with extended family members, while wearing a mask and staying 6 feet apart. 

  • Preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors and delivering them in a way that doesn't involve contact with others.

  • Shopping online rather than in person on the day after Thanksgiving. Use contactless services, like curbside pick-up or shop in open air markets and stay 6 feet away from others.

Higher risk activities:

  • Attending or hosting indoor gatherings with people from outside your home.

  • Sharing food and drinks.

  • Shaking hands and hugging. Wave and verbally greet others instead.  

  • Singing, dancing, and shouting. These activities increase your chances of catching COVID-19 through the air.  

Read more on the Thanksgiving guidance released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For more information on Boston's response to COVID-19, please visit boston.gov/coronavirus.

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