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.

Stricter measures in place for social, physical distancing in the City of Boston

These new measures will be effective on Monday, April 6through Monday, May 18, 2020, and include:

  • We’re encouraging everyone to wear a face covering over their mouth and nose when in public.
  • The Boston Public Health Commission is issuing a Public Health Advisory for everyone in Boston except essential workers to stay at home from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. each day.
  • We’re closing City of Boston parks with recreational sports areas.

Effective Tuesday, April 7, the following restrictions will be in place for City-owned buildings:

  • City Hall will only be open to the public on Tuesdays and Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.Everyone entering City Hall, including employees, must complete a self-screening for COVID-19 symptoms. If you need to visit City Hall for essential services, you must make an appointment.
  • Public access to 1010 Mass. Ave. will be limited to the Public Health Commission on the 2nd Floor. Residents must be accompanied when entering the building.

Critical Resources:

COVID19 UPDATES

All essential City of Boston services such as public safety, public health and maintenance operations including street cleaning, parks maintenance, trash and recycling pick up, etc will continue to be in operation.

  • On April 21st, Governor Baker announced that all public and private schools will be closed for the remainder of the academic year.  All childcare (except for essential workers) will remain closed until June 29. Childcare programs for first responders, other essential workers will continue operating as they have been. Currently there 523 programs statewide. With Boston Public Schools closed to students, the City will continue to provide free breakfast and lunch meals to all Boston students. View a map of meal sites for children and youth.
  • Massachusetts is one of 4 states to receive federal approval to create a Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (PEBT) Program. Families with EBT cards will have the amount added to their balance. Families without EBT cards will be provided special PEBT cards. In districts that qualify for universal free meals, including Boston, all families will receive the benefit.
  • On April 20th, Governor Baker signed a bill which puts a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures during the COVID-19 public health emergency. It includes protections for renters, homeowners and commercial tenants. Read the bill in its entirety here

On Monday, March 23, Governor Charlie Baker issued an emergency order requiring all businesses and organizations that do not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” to close as of March 24th at noon until April 7th at noon. This has been extended to May 18th. Governor Baker has directed the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to issue a stay at home advisory outlining self-isolation and social distancing protocols. Residents are advised to stay home and avoid unnecessary travel and other unnecessary activities during this two-week time period. Read the Governor’s order here. 

Click here to see the list of COVID-19 Essential Services

Per Governor Baker, all travelers to Massachusetts are instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days.

On Sunday, March 15, 2020, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) is declaring a public health emergency in the City of Boston due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This allows BPHC the authority to increase the availability of staff and resources, and enhance reporting, information and resource sharing among Boston’s health and medical community. 

Read the Declaration of Public Health Emergency.

Residents are asked not to call 911 unless you are experiencing a medical emergency. All COVID-19 questions should be directed to Mayor’s Health Line at 617-534-5050 or 311. The City and BPHC will continue to provide updated information on bphc.org and boston.gov/coronavirus

On Monday, March 16, Mayor Walsh announced the formation and launch of the Boston Resiliency Fund, which will coordinate the City’s fundraising and philanthropic efforts to provide essential services to Boston residents whose health and well-being are most immediately impacted by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and assist first responders and critical care providers.

EXPANDING ACCESS TO TESTING

This week, with support from the Boston Resiliency Fund, three more community health centers will start offering COVID-19 testing: Fenway Health in the Fenway neighborhood; Driscoll-Neponset Health Center in Dorchester; and Charles River Community Health in Brighton.

  • When these three new sites are up and running, there will be a total of 19 testing sites operating in the City of Boston. Locations, hours, and contact information for all open sites are available at boston.gov/coronavirus.  
  • The City continues to conduct universal testing for Boston’s homeless population in both city-run and nonprofit shelters. 
  • Antibody testing of 1000 residents is also underway, and should be completed by the end of this week. Participants will be tested for the presence of antibodies as well as for the COVID virus itself. The data from the antibody testing program will provide a snapshot of how prevalent the outbreak is in certain zip codes, and provide important insights into how the virus spreads. We appreciate all of the residents participating as testing will empower them with knowledge about their own status.

EXPANDING INTERNET ACCESS

  • So far, the City of Boston has distributed over 30,000 free Chromebook laptops and 2,400 free WiFi hotspots to get families online. We will continue to provide these resources, which are important as the next phase of distance learning is introduced by BPS in the coming week. To request a Chromebook, go to bostonpublicschools.org or call 3-1-1. To request WiFi hotspots, please contact your child’s school directly.
  • For anyone who already has internet service, Boston’s internet and wireless providers agreed to suspend service cut-offs and late fees through March and April. Verizon, Comcast, and RCN have extended their pledge through June 30.