March 30th 9:30PM Update

Contents:

  • COVID19 CASES
  • CITY OF BOSTON COVID19 OPERATIONS
  • BUOY HEALTH ONLINE COVID19 SCREENINGS
  • HOMELESS SERVICES PLAN UPDATE
  • MUNICIPAL BILLS
  • PARKS UPDATE
  • FOOD ACCESS 
  • 2020 CENSUS
  • BOSTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS
  • ZONING BOARD OF APPEAL / LICENSING BOARD APRIL HEARINGS
  • CONSTRUCTION
  • HIRING BPHC POSITIONS
  • HELP COVID19 EFFORTS
  • STAY INFORMED

COVID19 CASES

The City of Boston has 825 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive) in Boston residents. So far, 59 of these 825 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 atboston.gov/coronavirus orbphc.org.

Massachusetts has 5,752 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive) and 56 deaths reported at this time. 

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 throughboston.gov/coronavirus#multilingual-help. Each language has its own page and hosts multilingual print materials distributed citywide.

CITY OF BOSTON COVID19 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.

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

The following departments have moved to by appointment only: 

  • Registry

  • Parking Clerk

  • Age Strong

  • Elections

  • City Clerk 

  • Assessing

  • Collecting

  • Bid counter for Public Facilities 

  • Inspectional Services Department

If constituents would like to schedule an appointment at these departments, they should reach out via phone or email. Department contacts can be found onboston.gov

We’ve compiled a list of services for Boston residents particularly our immigrant communities affected by COVID 19 which can be found attached.

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 onbphc.org andboston.gov/coronavirus.

BUOY HEALTH ONLINE COVID19 SCREENINGS

The State of Massachusetts has partnered with South End based Buoy Health: a free health assistance tool to provide medical advice remotely. Buoy Health is not a replacement for emergency care. It provides a free online diagnostic tool which screens for COVID19. Additional information can be found atbuoy.com/mass.

HOMELESS SERVICES PLAN UPDATE

On March 30th, Mayor Walsh announced the Boston Housing Authority and the Boston Public Schools are creating a new partnership to house up to 1,000 families with BPS students at risk of displacement and experiencing homelessness over the next year. Outreach to get families into the application process will begin immediately to expand housing support for Bostonians during and after the COVID-19 public health emergency. The first housing placements are expected to begin in May 2020. Learn more.

On March 29th, Mayor Walsh announced that the City of Boston has secured over 240 additional beds to increase physical distancing in existing shelters and aid those in need of a home to safely quarantine or isolate themselves and reduce the further spread of COVID-19 in Boston.

  • Suffolk Universitywill be repurposing a dormitory to provide at least 172 beds, helping reduce congestion and increase physical distancing in existing shelters in Boston. This facility will be managed in collaboration between the Pine Street Inn and the Boston Public Health Commission. This facility is not for quarantine—it’s being used to relieve pressure for regular use on our existing shelters.

  • The Davis Companies has provided another 70 beds at the site of a former long-term acute care hospital in Brighton (Commonwealth Avenue). This facility will be operated by the Boston Public Health Commission in partnership with Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program. This facility is for quarantining purposes. 

People in need of homeless services should not go directly to Suffolk University or the new site in Brighton.They should go to one of the existing homeless shelters, which all remain open, including: Pine Street Inn, Woods Mullen, 112 Southampton, the Boston Rescue Mission, and Rosie's Place.

These 240 new beds are in addition to the 55 beds we already created for COVID-19 purposes in the South End near our shelters for isolation.

The City is also working closely with the State to re-purpose the Newton Pavilion site at Boston Medical Center. We will temporarily reopen it to meet the medical needs of homeless residents affected by coronavirus.  It will have a capacity of 250 beds. This facility is for medical care

To date, the City of Boston has secured close to 550 beds to make sure our residents experiencing homelessness are protected during the coronavirus public health emergency.

MUNICIPAL BILLS

On March 30th, Mayor Walsh announced that the City of Boston will delay property tax payments until June. We will also suspend interest charges on late motor vehicle excise bills until June 30. Late penalties on meals tax collections will also be waived by the State.

PARKS UPDATE

On March 29th, Mayor Walsh announced that the City of Boston will be taking new measures to discourage anyone from engaging in activities in our parks that put themselves and others at risk. This includes soccer, street hockey, basketball, and all group sports. To start, we’ve begun to temporarily put zip-ties on basketball hoops and we’re temporarily removing street hockey and tennis nets. The Parks Dept will also have new signage up this week. 

While our parks are open for solitary activities such as walks, we urge everyone to practice physical distancing of at least 6ft. The tot lots are closed and there should be no gatherings or contact sports. We are asking for your help communicating this to friends, families and neighbors. Full details about Boston Parks & Rec Dept COVID19 Operations can be foundhere

FOOD ACCESS

Food pantries are up and running, using grab-and-go packages and with special precautions. TheGreater Boston Food Bank website has updated info on food pantries and other food resources, including a link to our meal sites for children and youth. Anyone facing food insecurity can also contact Project Bread at ProjectBread.org, or the Greater Boston Food Bank at GBFB.org. 

We are recommending that seniors with food access needs to call 311 to be connected to our Age Strong department.  

2020 CENSUS

While we are practicing physical distancing, please take some time to fill out the 2020 Census online athttps://my2020census.gov/. You may respond online in 13 different languages. The Census Bureau also offers web pages and guides in 59 non-English languages, including American Sign Language, as well as guides in Braille and large print. VisitLanguage Support to learn more.

It has never been more important that every Bostonian is counted. The information collected helps determine billions of dollars in federal funds to our communities for emergency response, schools, roads, and other public services for the next 10 years. The response rate is currently at 26.4% of Boston households and it is critical we have an accurate count. 


BOSTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS:

As of March 30th, Boston Public Schools has distributed 22,161 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, hasserved over 100,000 meals since last week, averaging 13,000 meals per day.

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

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

ZONING BOARD OF APPEAL / LICENSING BOARD APRIL HEARINGS

Please be advised that the following Zoning Board of Appeal April Hearings have been canceled due to the ongoing COVID19 Public Health Emergency:

  • April 7th, 2020 ZBA Hearing

  • April 16th, 2020 ZBA Subcommittee Hearing

  • April 28th, 2020 ZBA Hearing


To mitigate the spread of COVID19, public access to the Inspectional Services Dept offices at 1010 Massachusetts Ave is restricted to appointment only. Applicants requesting relief of the zoning or building code, or anyone inquiring about upcoming hearings, should email ISDBoardOfAppeal@boston.gov or call 617-635-4775.

The City of Boston’s Licensing Board has canceled hearings until further notice. Any Licensing Board questions should be directed to the Board’s Executive Secretary, Lesley Delaney Hawkins, Esq., who can be reached at (617) 635-4170 or Lesley.hawkins@boston.gov

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 foundhere

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 tobphc.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.

  • 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 atbuoy.com/mass.

  • Donate supplies to first respondershere

  • Donate to the City of Boston Resiliency Fundhere

  • Volunteer with the City of Boston here 

  • Fill outthe 2020 Census. The 2020 Census is happening now and only 26.4 percent of Boston 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

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


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