COVID-19 Updates

Below is information from the City of Boston.

HELP FLATTEN THE CURVE: To protect Bostonians and their families from the spread of the virus, residents are reminded to practice caution: wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol; avoid shaking hands; cover your coughs and sneezes; clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces; and avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you think you might be sick, please call your doctor or 311 to be connected to the Mayor’s Health Line. Residents are also reminded to practice social distancing: keep your distance from others (6 feet apart); avoid crowded places. 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

The City of Boston has two dashboards to provide statistics on COVID19 cases in Boston and throughout Massachusetts.  View them here.

The City of Boston has a free texting service to provide daily updates and information about the coronavirus. Text BOSCOVID to 99411 to opt-in for English. Language and communications access remains a priority for Mayor Walsh, so this text service is also available in Spanish, Haitan Creole, French, Cabo Verdean Creole, and Portuguese. 

  • Text BOSEspanol to 888-777 for Spanish
  • Text BOSKreyol to 888-777 for Haitian Kreyol
  • Text BOSFrancais to 888-777 for French
  • Text BOSKriolu to 888-777 for Cabo Verdean Creole
  • Text BOSPortugues to 888-777 for Portuguese
  • Text BOSSoomali to 888-777 for Somali
  • Text BOSChi to 888-777 for Simplified Chinese
  • Text BOSbilAraby to 888-777 for Arabic
  • Text BOSViet to 888-777 for Vietnamese
  • Text BOSRus to 888-777 for Russian

Updates in languages can additionally be accessed through boston.gov/coronavirus#multilingual-help. Each language has its own page and hosts multilingual print materials distributed citywide.

Below is information from Chantal Barbosa, Community Liaison, Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services.

COVID-19 CASES

PROGRESS REPORT ON MELNEA CASS/MASS AVE 2.0

BPS HYBRID MODEL/PHASED-IN REOPENING

ARTS AND CULTURE COVID-19 FUND

BCYF INDOOR POOLS OPENING

BOSTON LYRIC OPERA PARTNERSHIP

DIGITAL ACCESS – BPL OUTDOOR WI-FI AND COMPUTERS

CONSUMER AWARENESS CAMPAIGN: COMPETITIVE ELECTRIC SUPPLY

MOIA CITIZENSHIP CAMPAIGN

GENERAL REMINDERS

STAY INFORMED

MID-DORCHESTER ABUTTERS MEETINGPlease be advised that while you now have access to meeting information digitally – the official meeting notification is done by the applicant.
Applicants need to complete the flyering process 6-11 days in advance of the meeting. Abutters who live 300 feet from the property should receive a physical copy of the flyer within that time frame. 

Here are the scheduled virtual meetings information that you can share, Mid- Dorchester Community Process Tracker. I will be updating this google sheet once I schedule more, so feel free to bookmark it and review it at your own pace. 

COVID-19 CASES

The City of Boston has 15,788 positive cases of coronavirus. So far, 12,196 of these 15,788 residents have fully recovered. Unfortunately, there have been 754 COVID-19 related deaths in Boston. 

The City posts race and ethnicity data for deaths, as well as for confirmed cases here.

The Boston Public Health Commission will be providing the updated total of cases in Boston residents as it is received from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Information can be found at boston.gov/coronavirus or bphc.org.

Massachusetts has 121,546 positive cases of coronavirus and 9,077 deaths reported at this time. 

The City of Boston has two dashboards to provide statistics on COVID-19 cases in Boston and throughout Massachusetts. View them here.

The City of Boston has a free texting service to provide daily updates and information about the coronavirus. Text BOSCOVID to 888-777 to opt-in for English. Language and communications access remains a priority for Mayor Walsh, so this text service which was available in Spanish, Haitan Creole, French, Cabo Verdean Creole, and Portuguese, now includes Somali, Chinese, Arabic, Vietnamese and Russian.

  • Text BOSEspanol to 888-777 for Spanish
  • Text BOSKreyol to 888-777 for Haitian Kreyol
  • Text BOSFrancais to 888-777 for French
  • Text BOSKriolu to 888-777 for Cabo Verdean Creole
  • Text BOSPortugues to 888-777 for Portuguese
  • Text BOSSoomali to 888-777 for Somali
  • Text BOSChi to 888-777 for Simplified Chinese
  • Text BOSbilAraby to 888-777 for Arabic
  • Text BOSViet to 888-777 for Vietnamese
  • Text BOSRus to 888-777 for Russian

Updates in 10 total languages can additionally be accessed through boston.gov/coronavirus#multilingual-help. Each language has its own page and hosts multilingual print materials distributed citywide. 

The state has launched an interactive map, to help residents understand how the virus is spreading in their communities. It’s available at: mass.gov/info-details/community-level-covid-19-data-reporting.

PROGRESS REPORT ON MELNEA CASS/MASS AVE 2.0

  • The City released a progress report on the Melnea Cass/Mass Ave 2.0 Strategic Plan, aimed at addressing the opioid crisis in Newmarket Square and surrounding areas, which has intensified with the COVID-19 pandemic and the high number of individuals seeking health care and shelter. The report marks progress in short-term and long-term strategies that guide the City’s work on public health, public safety and quality of life issues that impact individuals who are struggling, and their surrounding communities. 

BPS HYBRID MODEL/PHASED-IN REOPENING

  • BPS is moving forward with a responsible, phased-in plan to start the school year. This approach will give us time to assess health data before each step, with the Boston Public Health Commission. It will allow us to address learning needs and opportunity gaps — in person and by providing extra help for students learning online.  
  • In every step, families have the choice of whether to opt-in to hybrid learning or stay fully remote. 
  • More information will be posted at https://www.bostonpublicschools.org/reopening. Parents can also email questions to reopening@bostonpublicschools.org

Each step will begin no sooner than the listed date:

  • On September 21, all students will begin with remote learning.
  • On October 1, the option of hybrid learning may begin for students with the highest needs. 
  • On October 15, optional hybrid learning may begin for the youngest students, in all 3 grades of kindergarten: K0, K1, and K2. 
  • On October 22, opt-in hybrid learning may begin for grades 1-3. 
  • On November 5, opt-in hybrid learning may begin for grades 4-8. That will include grades 6-8 in the high schools that include them. 
  • And on November 16, opt-in hybrid learning may begin for grades 9-12. 
  • Teachers will arrive in school on Tuesday, September 8 to begin preparations for teaching both the remote and hybrid models from their classrooms. 
  • The first students will not return until at least October 1. 
  • As more students phase in, it will still be less than 50% of the normal numbers at any given time. 

ARTS AND CULTURE COVID-19 FUND

  • The City awarded $815,000 in grants to 146 local arts and cultural organizations as part of the Arts and Culture COVID-19 Fund. This fund, made available by the City of Boston’s allocated CARES Act funding, was established earlier this summer to support small and mid-sized arts and culture nonprofits in adapting their programs, spaces, and operating models as a result of COVID-19.
  • As organizations and cultural facilities begin reopening, the Arts and Culture COVID-19 Fund aims to mitigate costs for finding new safe spaces for performance and rehearsal, adapting existing facilities to comply with public health standards, developing new capacities in streaming and virtual engagement, addressing issues of equitable access on digital programs, retraining staff, and other costs associated with physically distanced program delivery.
  • In addition to the Arts and Culture COVID-19 Fund, the City of Boston distributed grants totaling $490,000 to 146 arts and cultural organizations that offer programming in the City of Boston through the Boston Cultural Council. 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.

BCYF INDOOR POOLS OPENING

  • Four indoor swimming pools — BCYF Curtis Hall Pool in Jamaica Plain, BCYF Draper Pool in West Roxbury, BCYF Flaherty Pool in Roslindale, and BCYF Mason Pool in Dorchester — are now open to the public.
  • These indoor pools join the two outdoor pools (Clougherty Pool in Charlestown and Mirabella Pool in the North End) that are open. Indoor pools are open year-round, while outdoor pools are open through Labor Day.
  • BCYF Draper Pool, Flaherty Pool and Mason Pool will be open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The BCYF Curtis Hall Community Center pool will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. As of now, pools will offer only lap swim to the public. Additional aquatics programming will be added as it’s finalized. Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, there are several new protocols in place at all BCYF pools. Visit Boston.gov/BCYF-registration for more information. 
  • Please note: Draper Pool is currently not renewing memberships, and residents do not need a membership to reserve a space online.

BOSTON LYRIC OPERA PARTNERSHIP

  • Through a grant provided by the Boston Resiliency Fund, Boston Lyric Opera (BLO) will work with its local costume shop partner, CostumeWorks, to initially produce over 1,800 lip-reading-friendly clear-front face masks to support Boston’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities, and others who rely on facial expression to communicate. 
  • BLO will manage distribution of the face masks in partnership with the Mayor’s Commission for Persons with Disabilities. The masks produced will be donated, or sold at a discounted rate.

DIGITAL ACCESS – BPL OUTDOOR WI-FI AND COMPUTERS

  • The Boston Public Library now offers free Outdoor Wi-Fi at a number of branches. 
    • It provides free, socially distanced internet access 24 hours a day in the public space around nine BPL branches, chosen based on data reflecting at-home broadband access, household income, and the availability of outdoor seating. 
    • The branches are Mattapan, Hyde Park, East Boston, South End, Codman Square, Parker Hill, Grove Hall, Egleston Square, and the Honan-Allston branch.
  • The other new BPL program is public computer access. 
    • Residents can now sign up to use computers at no cost in a socially distanced space within the Central Library in Copley Square. 
    • Two-hour slots are available, Monday through Thursday, at apps.bpl.org/computers or by phone at (617) 536-5400. 
  • The BPL buildings remain closed to the public for other indoor uses, but the BPL To Go service allows residents to reserve and pick up physical books and other items at every branch citywide. Visit bpl.org to learn more. 

CONSUMER AWARENESS CAMPAIGN: COMPETITIVE ELECTRIC SUPPLY

The City of Boston is launching an educational outreach campaign. The campaign will lift up the challenges and risks that residents sometimes face when they sign contracts for their electricity supply. These contracts are offered by for-profit companies called competitive electric suppliers. The campaign will (1) frame the issues, (2) educate residents on what to be cautious of and why, (3) provide resources if residents should need further assistance, and (4) introduce the upcoming Community Choice Electricity program. 

The Environment Department will also be hosting six webinars in English with interpretation services offered in Cape Verdean Creole, Mandarin, Cantonese, Spanish, Vietnamese, Haitian Creole, and American Sign Language (ASL).

MOIA CITIZENSHIP CAMPAIGN

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is making significant changes to the naturalization application. Starting October 2, it is raising the cost of application from $725 to $1,200 and eliminating the fee waiver for most low-income residents. USCIS is also increasing the permanent residence (green card) application fee and implementing an asylum application fee, making the United States one of four countries to do so. The City of Boston and the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement (MOIA) are encouraging eligible Boston immigrants to apply for citizenship before the October 2 fee increases. They can contact Project Citizenship at 617-694-5949 for free, high quality legal help with their application. 

Citizenship Campaign 2020 (4).png

GENERAL REMINDERS

  • Learn more about the reopening process: www.mass.gov/reopening.
  • When going outside, wear a face covering, practice physical distancing from others (6 feet apart), and avoid mass  gatherings.
  • Anyone experiencing a medical emergency should call 911. 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol; avoid shaking hands
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes; clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces; and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you think you might be sick, please call your doctor or 311 to be connected to the Mayor’s Health Line 617-534-5050. Buoy Health has created a free online diagnostic tool which screens for COVID19 at buoy.com/mass.
  • Donate supplies to first responders here.
  • Donate to the City of Boston Resiliency Fund here.
  • Volunteer with the City of Boston here. .
  • City Hall is open to the public on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 9 am – 5 pm. Learn more about the status of city departments and hours of operation here
  • Those employed at grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants, and local retail shops can sign up for a free 90-day Bluebikes pass boston.gov/bike-share.
  • The Census has never been more accessible. You can respond to the 2020 Census online, over the phone; 844-330-2020, or by mail in over the phone in 13 different languages.

STAY INFORMEDReceive the latest COVID19 info from reliable sources. Visit: bphc.org/coronavirus; boston.gov/coronavirus; mass.gov/2019coronavirus. Call: 311 or 211.  

With care,
Chantal Lima Barbosa

Neighborhood/Constituency Liaison for

Mid-Dorchester and Cape Verdean Community

Mayor Martin J. Walsh

Office of Neighborhood Services

617-635-1880

617-293-8323