Contents:

  • COVID19 CASES
  • STATE OF MA UPDATES
  • BOSTON RESILIENCY FUND
  • CITY OF BOSTON COVID19 OPERATIONS
  • BOSTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS
  • GROCERY STORES AND PHARMACIES 
  • TRANSPORTATION OFFERS FOR HEALTHCARE WORKERS
  • EMERGENCY CHILDCARE OPTIONS
  • CONSTRUCTION UPDATE
  • HOW YOU CAN HELP COVID19 EFFORTS
  • STAY INFORMED

COVID19 CASES

The City of Boston has 284 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive) in Boston residents. So far, 25 of these 284 residents have fully recovered. There have been 2 COVID-19 related deaths in Boston residents.

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 1,838 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive) and 15 deaths reported at this time. 

Ensuring that residents have accurate, up to date information about the coronavirus is critical during this public health crisis. The City of Boston has launched two dashboards to provide statistics on COVID19 cases in Boston and throughout Massachusetts.The first dashboard includes a day-by-day breakdown graph of the spread of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, and tracks daily updates from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health for the number of COVID-19 cases. The second dashboard includes information specific to the City of Boston, including total daily cases, recovered cases, and total cases over time. The dashboard also tracks the levels of testing done throughout the United States.  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. 


STATE OF MA UPDATES

On Wednesday, March 25th, Governor Baker issued an emergency order requiring all schools and non-emergency childcare centers to stay closed throughout April and reopen no sooner than May 4th. Emergency childcare will continue throughout this timeframe as well. This order expands on previous orders issued on March 15 and March 18 suspending normal educational operations at schools and non-emergency child care programs until April 6.

On Tuesday, March 24th at noon, Governor Baker ordered all businesses and organizations that do not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” to close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers, customers and the public as of Tuesday, March 24 at noon until Tuesday, April 7 at noon.

A full list of “COVID-19 Essential Services” can be found here.

Governor Baker also directed the Department of Public Health to issue a Stay at Home advisory outlining self-isolation and social distancing protocols. This advisory goes into effect as of Tuesday, March 24 at noon until Tuesday, April 7 at noon. The Order limits gatherings to 10 people during the state of emergency, a reduction from the 25-person limit established in an earlier order.

Residents are advised to stay home and avoid unnecessary travel and other unnecessary activities during this two-week time period.  Residents over 70 years of age or with underlying health conditions, who are considered at high risk when exposed to COVID-19, should limit social interactions with other people as much as possible.  

BOSTON RESILIENCY FUND

Mayor Walsh launched the Boston Resiliency Fund which supports food access, technology to support at-home learning, and the needs of our healthcare workers and first responders, including childcare. We met our goal of $20 million after a little over a week of fundraising — and we are still taking donations.

$5.4 million in grants from this fund has been released to the following organizations:

  • Senior and Low-Income Food Providers

    • The Greater Boston Food Bank which supplies and supports food pantries across the region. 

    • Ethos which delivers Meals on Wheels to 8,000 seniors. This will allow it to serve more people.

    • Fresh Truck which will work with partners to deliver fresh produce to households in need.

    • Community Servings which provides healthy meals to critically ill people and their families. 

    • Project Bread which is a statewide resource for people looking for food resources. 

  • Health Care for Vulnerable Populations:

    • Boston Healthcare for the Homeless to assist them in screening, testing, and operating the new medical tents that we created near our shelters. 

    • Boston Medical Center to care for patients, support staff, and sustain safe hospital operations

    • Pine Street Inn to increase cleaning of their facilities and work with the Boston Public Health Commission to staff quarantine sites for the homeless.

We’re going to keep growing the fund, and 100% of the money will continue to serve these kinds of needs. For information on donating or applying for funds, visit boston.gov/coronavirus

CITY OF BOSTON COVID19 OPERATIONS

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

While City Hall is still open and running for critical operations, we discourage anyone from coming in unless they have an urgent need for services that cannot be done by phone or online. If you have questions, call the City's hotline at 3-1-1 to get connected to a department.

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 PUBLIC SCHOOLS:

Boston Public Schools closure has been extended to May 4th following today’s announcement by Governor Baker. The City of Boston, in partnership with Project Bread, YMCA of Greater Boston, Boston Centers for Youth and Families, and other community organizations, has been providing free meals to all youth and teens at various locations and times across the City. Learn more about meal distribution locations here.

As part of our efforts to continue serving our students, Boston Public Schools are providing Chromebooks to students who do not have consistent access to a computer at home. Parents can fill out this application and email their school principal to receive an appointment time to pick up their student's device to avoid creating crowds. To date we have distributed 18,000 laptops to BPS students. 

Boston Public Schools is partnering with Catie’s Closet to continue to provide wrap around care for families. Last year we announced free menstrual products for students and BPS will still have them available throughout the school closure. Catie’s Closet has supplied 500 toiletry packages to each of our 16 BPS emergency meal sites. 

Meal Distribution sites near the South End, Bay Village and Lower Roxbury include the following:

  • YMCA at Wang — 8 Oak St 8am-12pm
  • Blackstone Elementary School — 380 Shawmut Ave 8:30am-11:30am
  • Vibrant Boston Community Center at Lenox/Camden —136 Lenox St  8am-12pm
  • YMCA at Huntington Ave — 316 Huntington Ave 8am-12pm

GROCERY STORES AND PHARMACIES

Governor Baker issued a new order requiring grocery stores and pharmacies to observe the following COVID19 Guidelines:

  • Provide at least one hour per day of shopping for adults over 60-years-old.

  • Offer sanitation options, such as hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes, as available, to clean shopping carts and points of frequent contact.

  • Appropriate social distancing policies, including a marked “Social Distancing Line,” beginning six feet away from all checkout counters.

  • Close any self-serve food stations

  • Instruct store employees who are ill to stay home, and for stores to accommodate employees who fall in the high-risk category with alternative assignments to limit exposure.

The Statewide plastic bag ban has been lifted (along with fees) throughout this State of  Emergency. 

TRANSPORTATION OFFERS FOR HEALTHCARE WORKERS

The City of Boston is working with commercial parking garages across Boston who are offering lower rates for medical staff. A comprehensive list of participating garages can be found here

BlueBikes will offer a 30-day, unlimited trip pass for $0 for hospital staff. Please note that bikes are disinfected regularly including high-touch areas such as handlebars and seatposts. More information can be found here.

EMERGENCY CHILDCARE OPTIONS

Emergency childcare programs are being made available to emergency workers on a limited basis who have no other option for childcare during this public health crisis. If possible, please arrange for your child to receive care in a non-group setting. 

Priority will be given to certain people, including but not limited to health care workers, essential state and human service workers, COVID-19 health workers, grocery store employees, emergency response personnel, law enforcement, transportation and infrastructure workers, sanitation workers, DCF-involved families, and families living in shelters.

A comprehensive list of options can be found here.

CONSTRUCTION UPDATE

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. Please see the (attached) updated temporary construction guidelines. Additional information can be found here

HOW YOU CAN HELP COVID19 EFFORTS

  • Stay home if possible. If you must go outside, practice physical distancing from others (6 feet apart); avoid crowded places.

  • 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.

  • Donate supplies to first responders here

  • Donate to the City of Boston Resiliency Fund here

  • Fill out the 2020 Census. The 2020 Census is happening now and only 16.7 percent of households have responded. 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


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