Important COVID-19 Update #13 |

As of 4/13/2020, the City of Boston has 4,086 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive) in Boston residents. So far, 489 of these 4,086 residents have fully recovered. There have been 69 COVID-19 related deaths in Boston residents. 

With positive cases more than doubling this past week, it is clear that Boston is in the midst of a surge. Public health modeling projects Massachusetts reaching its peak of cases at the end of April. We urge everyone to stay home, avoid contact with others and observe the recommended curfew of 9pm-6am. If you must go outside for an essential task, we urge you to wear a face covering and stay 6ft away from others. Make sure to wash your hands often and clean and sanitize high-contact surfaces frequently. 

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 26,867 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive) and 844 deaths reported at this time. Massachusetts has also tested 122,049 individuals to date. 

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 for Spanish
  • Text BOSKreyol for Haitian Kreyol
  • Text BOSFrancais for French
  • Text BOSKriolu for Cabo Verdean Creole
  • Text BOSPortugues for Portuguese

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. 

CITY OF BOSTON COVID-19 OPERATIONS

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.

  • City Hall is open to the public only on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9 am.to 5 pm
  • Public access to 1010 Massachusetts Avenue is limited to the Boston Public Health Commission on the 2nd Floor and residents must be accompanied when entering the building. 
  • Everyone entering City Hall, including employees and members of the public, will be required to complete a self-screening for COVID-19 symptoms, including elevated temperature.
  • Residents are required to make appointments if they need to visit any of the essential services offered out of City Hall, and can learn more about the status of city departments and hours of operation here. 

Residents are asked not to call 9-1-1 unless you are experiencing a medical emergency. All COVID-19 questions should be directed to the 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.

BOSTON HOPE AT BCEC UPDATE

  • The Boston Hope Medical Center at BCEC opened this past weekend. The facility has a total of 1,000 beds, including 500 for homeless patients.
  • As of Sunday evening, we have 45 patients —  including 16 individuals 
  • Partners HealthCare is seeking help from care providers of all types: including registered nurses, advanced practice providers, physical and occupational therapists, pharmacists, and providers with experience in respiratory care. Visit partners.org/bostonhope for more info

COVID-19 HEALTH INEQUITIES TASK FORCE UPDATE

  • The City of Boston has been collecting and sharing race and ethnicity data for cases in Boston, and encouraging other jurisdictions to do the same. Those numbers are updated daily on Boston.gov/coronavirus
  • Mayor Walsh hosted the first meeting of Boston’s COVID-19 Health Inequities Task Force this past weekend. 
  • The Task Force is made up of community leaders of color including doctors, faith leaders, and heads of community health centers. A full list of members can be found here
  • At their first meeting, they identified priority areas, including: testing, data, community action, and understanding the economic impact.

ACCESS TO SCREENING AND NEW TESTING SITE AT WHITTIER STREET HEALTH CENTER

  • The City of Boston is working with the Whittier Street Health Center in Roxbury to help make testing more accessible to residents. 
    • Starting today, Whittier will be offering scheduled rapid result testing to all. 
    • Testing is by appointment only and patients must be at least 18 years of age. Please visit wshc.org for more info
  • Buoy Health has a free online screening resource, accessible at buoy.com/mass. This tool can help determine if you need to see a healthcare provider, and they can connect you to telehealth resources that are fully covered by health insurance.

FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR RESIDENTS AND SMALL BUSINESSES

  • The City of Boston created a Rental Relief Fund for tenants who fall behind on rent because of the crisis, and don’t have access to enough federal relief or unemployment benefits to make it up. The first round of funding closed on April 10th. The Department of Neighborhood Development will hold a lottery for over 5,500 applicants who qualified in this round. The goal is to distribute the funds by the end of the month. Boston residents can fill out a form at Boston.gov/rentalrelief to be contacted when the next round of funding is open.
  • The City of Boston is working with 13 of the largest housing lenders in Boston to prevent foreclosures on homeowners. These lenders have agreed to defer homeowners’ mortgage payments by 3 months. They also agreed not to charge late fees or report non-payment to credit bureaus. More info here
  • The City of Boston created a Small Business Relief Fund for local businesses at risk of shutting down permanently due to the crisis. We received almost 3,000 applications. While this round of funding has closed, we will make an announcement if and when more funds become available. Any business needing guidance can review the City’s Financial Relief Handbook or reach out to the Economic Development team at Boston.gov/smallbusiness.

ONE BOSTON DAY

Wednesday, April 15th is the 7th anniversary of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. It also marks the 6th annual One Boston Day, a citywide day of reflection and service. 

  • Mayor Walsh proclaimed April 15, 2020, a Citywide day of reflection, prayer, and unity. The City of Boston will share opportunities to connect online with Boston’s faith community, with secular organizations, and with our local arts community so that everyone has a chance to slow down, reflect, and share some meaningful time with their fellow Bostonians. 
  • The Mayor emphasized that this year’s One Boston Day is as important as ever. He urged neighbors to do everything they can to support their fellow Bostonians, especially through physical distancing and wearing a face covering every time they leave the house. 
  • We are calling on everyone to spread goodwill through acts of kindness you can safely do from home, and invite you to share your reflections on the meaning of One Boston Day on social media with the hashtag #OneBostonDay.

BOSTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS:

Boston Public Schools has issued a needs assessment survey to all students in the district. Families should respond to the survey to help us determine how to better support them throughout the school closure. The survey is available in 10 different languages. 

As of April 13th, Boston Public Schools has distributed 28,000 Chromebooks to students who do not have consistent access to a computer at home.

The City of Boston, in partnership with Project Bread, YMCA of Greater Boston, Boston Centers for Youth and Families, and other community organizations, has served over 161,000 meals since schools have closed, averaging 13,000 meals per day.

Free breakfast and lunch will be provided throughout the school closure including on April 20th (Patriots’ Day) and April 21st-24th (April vacation)

Meal Distribution sites in Mattapan and some in Dorchester include:

Gallivan BCYF61 Woodruff Way, Mattapan, MA 021269:00AM-3:00PM
Mattahunt BCYF100 Hebron St, Mattapan MA 0212610:00AM-3:00PM
Faith Christian Church21 Harvard Street, Dorchester MA 021248:00AM-12:00PM
Lee School155 Talbot Ave, Boston, MA 021248:30 AM- 11:30AM
Mildred Ave5 Mildred Ave, Mattapan, MA 021268:30 AM- 11:30AM

See all meal sites in Boston at boston.gov/BPS-meal-sites.

More information about how we’re supporting Boston Public School families can be found here.

CONSTRUCTION

Due to the public health emergency caused by the spread of COVID-19, Mayor Walsh announced that he is extending the City of Boston’s order to pause non-essential construction for City of Boston permitted sites. The initial order announced on March 16th was set for 14 days and will now continue until further notice. Additional information can be found here

HIRING BPHC POSITIONS

The City is actively hiring candidates for critical positions such as homeless counselors, recovery services, public health advocates and public safety officers. Please go to bphc.org for job listings.

HELP COVID19 EFFORTS

  • Stay home. If you must go outside, practice physical distancing from others (6 feet apart); avoid crowded places.
  • Wear a face covering if you absolutely must go outside. Face covers help reduce the risk of a person spreading the virus, especially if they are asymptomatic. Visit CDC guidelines on face coverings for more information and guidance. 
  • Observe the recommended curfew for everyone in Boston except for essential workers to stay at home from 9 pm to 6 am daily 
  • 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 
  • Fill out the 2020 Census. The Census informs how billions of dollars in federal funds will be allocated by state, local and federal lawmakers annually for the next 10 years. It’s more critical than ever to ensure that all Bostonians are counted. 

STAY INFORMED

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

We will keep you informed as we receive updates. Stay healthy and stay safe.