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Archive for the ‘COVID19’ Category

COVID-19 CASES
RACISM AS AN EMERGENCY AND PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS
FY2021 BUDGET RESUBMISSION
ONE+ BOSTON FIRST TIME HOMEBUYER PROGRAM
SUPPORT BOSTON RESTAURANTS
BPL TO GO
CENSUS DAY OF ACTION – JUNE 17
NEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY UPDATES
GENERAL REMINDERS
STAY INFORMED

 

COVID-19 CASES
The City of Boston has 13,186 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive). So far, 8,214 of these 13,186 residents have fully recovered. Unfortunately, there have been 682 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 105,690 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive) and 7,647 deaths reported at this time. Massachusetts has also tested 712,875 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 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.

 

RACISM AS AN EMERGENCY AND PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS

 

The Mayor announced an initial set of actions for racial equity:

 

  • He declared racism to be a public health crisis in the City of Boston, and is backing this declaration with an initial investment of $3 million transferred from the police overtime budget to the Boston Public Health Commission. The BPHC will work with the City departments on strategies to directly address the impact racism has on the lives and health of Boston residents.

 

  • The City will be taking a number of steps in law enforcement accountability.

 

  • The Mayor also announced steps the City is taking in the FY2021 Budget to further ground public safety in community health and wellbeing.
    • He is proposing to reallocate 20%, or $12 million, from the Boston Police Department’s overtime budget. That money will be invested instead in community programs for our youth, for the homeless, and people struggling with the effects of inequality.
    • That includes the initial $3 million to implement our Public Health declaration;
      • $1 million to support trauma response and counseling at the Boston Public Health Commission.
      • $2 million for community investments through other City departments, including violence prevention, language access, food security, immigrant advancement, elder support, and the Human Rights Commission.
      • $2 million for programs supporting minority and women-owned businesses.
      • $2 million for housing security and ending youth homelessness.
      • And $2 million for emergency clinicians and mental health supports provided through the Boston Police Department when they respond to residents in crisis.

 

  • The Mayor has signed the Mayor’s Pledge issued by the Obama Foundation’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance. My Brother’s Keeper was launched in 2014 to empower young men and women of color. Boston was at the founding and we have made sure Boston is a leader in this alliance.
    •  What the new pledge says is this:
      • 1, We will review our Police use-of-force policies;
      • 2, We will engage communities by including a diverse range of input, experiences, and stories;
      • 3, We will report the findings of our review to the community and seek feedback;
      • And 4: We will reform our use-of-force policies based on that conversation.

 

  • To make sure our commitments translate into action, the Mayor is creating a new Task Force.
    • It will be led by Bostonians from civil rights organizations, the legal community, and the faith community.  It will be chaired by Wayne Budd, the former US Attorney for the district of Massachusetts— and a respected, longtime leader in Boston’s legal and civil rights communities.
    • The Task Force will conduct an immediate review of force policies and other equity issues at the Boston Police Department. And it will provide guidance on how we strengthen the Community Ombudsman Oversight Panel, the Co-op Board, to ensure that their work is effective. The Mayor will be accepting any changes that they recommend.
    • The Task Force will begin immediately and produce recommendations within 60 days. The community will then have time to review the recommendations and provide feedback. And we will announce reforms.

 

  • The Boston Police Dept. has been deeply committed to community policing and positive reform since the beginning of the Mayor’s administration. They continue to build a strong foundation of trust—in relationships with young people and members of the community in our neighborhoods. Their work starts with positive interactions in our communities and classrooms — and in programs like Coffee with a Cop, Flashlight Walks, Peace Walks, and Shop with a Cop. They provide prevention and diversion supports for at-risk youth and families. And they offer pathways away from violence for those who are ready to make a change [e.g., partners in Operation Exit].
  • The results of this work are evident:
    • From 2013 to 2019: complaints of improper behavior fell by 40%; and complaints of excessive force dropped by over 50%.
    • Over that time period, the crime rate is down by nearly 30%; arrests are down 33%; and officers have taken 5,000 guns off the streets.
    • We’ve made this progress, over the last 6 years, by lifting people up, not locking people up. That’s what we’re going to keep doing here in Boston.
    • The men and women of the Boston Police Dept. are increasingly reflective of the community they serve.
 
FY2021 BUDGET RESUBMISSION

 

  • The $3.61 billion recommended budget represents an increase of $119 million, or 3.4 percent over the FY20 budget, and the resubmission follows over 30 City Council hearings that helped identify opportunities for further targeted investments and cost-savings.
  • In this budget resubmission, the City has accounted for a projected $65 million in revenue loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, $30 million of which was initially accounted for in the Mayor’s original budget proposal in April. Despite this lost revenue, and as a result of six consecutive years of proactive fiscal management that has positioned the City of Boston to continue investing in core city services and resident needs at a time of global economic uncertainty, the budget resubmission affirms Mayor Walsh’s historic commitment made in his State of the City address in education and housing.
  • Through those commitments, the City will allocate $80 million in new funding for the Boston Public Schools to both meet the challenges of COVID-19 and work towards closing achievement and opportunity gaps. This budget marks the first year of the Mayor’s $100 million commitment to new revenue for direct classroom funding, over and above cost increases. This funding will reach every school in the Boston Public Schools district, and will begin with intense support for underperforming schools.
  • The budget also protects Mayor Walsh’s unprecedented commitment of $500 million over five years to create thousands of homes all across our city that will be affordable to residents at a range of income levels.
  • The FY21 budget fulfills the first year of the Mayor’s commitment of City resources with an $18 million investment in new operating and capital fundings. In the first year of this new housing investment, the City is dedicating new funds to create affordable homeownership opportunities, preserve and generate affordable rental opportunities including Boston’s first City-funded rental voucher program.
  • For more information about the budget, visit Boston’s budget website at budget.boston.gov.

 

ONE+ BOSTON FIRST TIME HOMEBUYER PROGRAM

 

  • Today the Mayor announced a new mortgage and down payment program, ONE+Boston, which gives income-qualified first-time Boston homebuyers greater ability to purchase a home in Boston by combining a discount on a low-interest rate mortgage product with down payment assistance.
  • The ONE+Boston program was designed to supplement one of the state’s existing affordable mortgage programs (the ONE Mortgage) by providing qualified buyers, based on area median income, additional discounts on interest rates. With the new ONE+Boston program, qualified Boston residents who earn between 80% and 100% area median income will receive a half percent (0.5%) discount rate off the already low-interest rate offered through the ONE Mortgage product (currently about 3%). In addition, Boston residents who earn below 80% of area median income will receive up to one percent (1%) off of the current ONE Mortgage rate. Qualified buyers will also be eligible for downpayment and closing cost assistance through the Boston Home Center.
  • For example, a family of four making 100% of area median income of $119,000, could afford a $410,000 single-family house in Boston with a conventional loan. With the ONE+Boston program, the same family could afford a $539,000 single-family house in Boston.

 

SUPPORT BOSTON RESTAURANTS

 

  • The City is providing a way for residents to find local restaurants that are offering  take-out and delivery service, and outdoor seating during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Find the restaurant listings here.

 

BPL TO GO

 

  • Beginning June 22nd, patrons will be able to pick up physical items such as books, DVDs, and CDs from select Boston Public Library locations as a part of their new program, called “BPL to Go.”  Patrons can “order” items from the library by placing a hold on them, then safely pick them up from select branches.
  • The pilot program will launch first at five locations: the Central Library in Copley Square, the Codman Square Branch, the East Boston Branch, the Jamaica Plain Branch, and the Mattapan Branch. The program will be expanded throughout the system in the coming weeks.
  • You can place items on hold by visiting bpl.org; on the BPL mobile app; or by calling the library’s main number at 617-536-5400. When they are ready, you will be notified and asked to schedule a time to come to their pickup location.
  • Pick-up times: Central Library, Monday – Thursday, 11am – 6pm, and Friday & Saturday, 11am – 4pm. At the branches, Monday – Thursday, 2 – 6pm; and Friday 2 – 4pm.
  • For more information, please visit bpl.org/takeout, or download the iPhone app in the Apple App Store. Patrons can also call the main number of the Library at (617) 536-5400 or email ask@bpl.org to have their questions answered.

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Please find the latest information from The City of Boston regarding COVID-19.
COVID-19 CASES
CAUTION DURING PHASE 1 OF REOPENING
UPDATES ON PARKS
REOPEN BOSTON FUND
REPORTING SAFETY CONCERNS
SMALL BUSINESS WORKSHOPS
BOSTON HOPE MEDICAL CENTER UPDATE
COMMUNITY CARE KIT DISTRIBUTION
GENERAL REMINDERS
STAY INFORMED

 

COVID-19 CASES
The City of Boston has 12,521 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive). So far, 6,019 of these 12,521 residents have fully recovered. Unfortunately, there have been 622 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 93,693 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive) and 6,473 deaths reported at this time. Massachusetts has also tested 545,481 individuals to data. Average positive test rate is down to 9%, and has been there for about a week.

 

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 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.

 

EXERCISING CAUTION DURING PHASE 1 OF REOPENING
  • Phase 1 of the State’s reopening plan began last Monday, May 18, with some construction sites, manufacturing facilities, and houses of worship resuming activities. Some office spaces will resume in-person activities this week in Massachusetts, and next week in Boston.
  • Remember, there is about a 2-week time lag between infections and positive test results, as people develop symptoms and get tested. Therefore, the numbers we’re seeing now are based on what we were doing 2 weeks ago and earlier. If we want the numbers to keep going in the right direction, everyone must continue doing their part to minimize the risk of another surge, by maintaining 6 feet of distance between individuals; continuing to wash hands and clean surfaces frequently; and wearing a face covering when in public.
  • Residents should continue to work from home if possible, and older adults and medically vulnerable people should follow the Safer at Home advisory and stay home as much as possible.

 

NOTE: the Statewide “Safer at Home” advisory is in effect, which directs residents to continue staying home except for healthcare, essential errands, and other activities permitted by Phase 1 guidelines.

 

UPDATE ON PARKS
    • Passive space for walking, running, cycling, riding non-motorized scooters and skateboards, while practicing physical distancing. Keep six feet of space between yourself and others.
    • Tennis courts, pickleball courts, and athletic fields are open for families and individuals from the same household. Do not congregate in groups. No permits will be issued until further notice.
  • The following features are STILL CLOSED in all parks:
    • Playground structures and equipment (slides, swings, climbing structures)
    • Fitness equipment
    • Courts: basketball, street hockey, and handball
    • Organized, group sports activities on fields: baseball, softball, football, rugby, cricket, and soccer
  • Only use parks when you have the ability to remain six feet away from others. If you find a park to be crowded, choose a less busy time or find another park.

 

REOPEN BOSTON FUND
The Mayor announced a $6 million Reopen Boston Fund, a new resource to help small businesses minimize risk and manage economic recovery as we move forward.
  • This is a grant program to help small businesses put safety measures in place, including buying personal protective equipment (PPE); installing safety partitions for customers and employees; and managing outdoor space that’s approved for business use. The grants will be distributed to brick-and-mortar businesses, with fewer than 15 employees, where people work close to each other or to customers. That includes salons and barber shops, retail stores and restaurants, gyms and event spaces, and more.
  • The funds will be released in three rounds, corresponding to the phases of the state’s reopening plan. Phase 1 applications will open this Thursday, May 28th, at 5 p.m. Information is available in multiple languages at boston.gov/reopen-fund.
    • The second round will target retail stores, restaurants, including outdoor dining materials, and remaining personal services including nail salons, day spas, waxing, and laser services.
    • The final round will include bars, arts and entertainment venues, and fitness businesses.
  • This new fund builds on previously existing supports for small businesses, including the Small Business Relief Fund, which has already distributed $4 million to more than 1,100 small businesses, and a new online resource to help small businesses procure PPE, which has already seen 4,500 visitors.
  • When business owners are allowed to open under the State’s plan, that doesn’t mean they have to open. If they decide not to open, they will continue to have access to all the resources and support that the City provides.
REPORTING SAFETY CONCERNS
  • Workers in any size organization have options if they feel they are being pressured into an unsafe situation. Attorney General Maura Healey has created resources for workers to report safety concerns during reopening. They include an online form at the Attorney General’s website and a dedicated Fair Labor hotline at 617-727-3465. People can also find those resources by calling 311.

 

SMALL BUSINESS WORKSHOPS
  • The City of Boston is also holding a series technical assistance workshops for small businesses to address challenges around reopening. The Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, in partnership with the Boston Licensing Board, the Public Works Department, Boston Transportation Department, the Inspectional Services Department, the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services, and the Boston Main Streets program, will discuss reopening guidelines, PPE and cleaning supply needs, as well as updated City policies to support businesses reopen safely.

 

Technical Assistance Workshops
Tuesday, May 26
11:00 AM
(Appointment scheduling, contactless payment, etc.)
Wednesday, May 27
2:00 PM
Thursday, May 28
2:00 PM
Friday, May 29
1:00 PM
(Will include how to plan with PPP funds)
Friday, May 29
3:00 PM

 

BOSTON HOPE MEDICAL CENTER UPDATE
  • As the number of new coronavirus cases have continued to decline, and capacity at local hospitals has returned to near-normal levels, the Boston Hope Medical Center at the BCEC stopped taking new patients on May 26th.
  • The facility will continue operating until the last patient has been discharged to a safe place, and it will stay in place as a ready resource should it be needed again.
  • In total, Boston Hope has treated more than 700 patients since it opened in early April.

 

COMMUNITY CARE KIT DISTRIBUTION
  • Over the weekend, the Office of Neighborhood Services (ONS) distributed 10,000 care kits to various community outreach partners, meal sites, and testing sites in Boston, building on the Mayor’s commitment of making critical resources available to residents.
  • Each kit contains a mask, hand sanitizer, gloves, anti-bacterial wipes, soap, and a booklet with information from the City on COVID-19 facts and resources.
  • Providing residents with the tools they need to stay safe during this time was one of the recommendations of the Mayor’s Health Inequities Task Force, which has been working to provide guidance to the City of Boston on addressing current inequities in data analysis, testing sites, and health care services for blacks, Latinos, Asians and immigrants, and advocating for an equitable reopening and recovery for all of Boston’s communities.
  • The care kits were assembled by a team of 130 volunteers from 25 City departments, who supported the Office of Neighborhood Services (ONS) in preparing for the distribution. The care kits are being made available in part through community partners, who play an integral role in providing residents with the resources needed to keep people safe during this public health crisis.
  • ONS is assembling another 10,000 care kits for a second round of distribution this week.

 

GENERAL REMINDERS
  • 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.
  • Anyone experiencing a medical emergency should call 911. The City of Boston’s EMTs and hospitals have the capacity and ability to treat everyone.
  • 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.
  • Fresh Truck Open Air Markets schedule.
  • City Hall is open to the public on Tuesdays and Fridays, 9 am – 5 pm. Learn more about the status of city departments and hours of operation 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.
  • Tell the Parks Department where you would like to see more open space in our neighborhood here.

 

STAY INFORMED
Receive the latest COVID19 info from reliable sources.
Call: 311 or 211.

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COVID-19 CASES
PHASE 1 OF REOPENING
LICENSING UPDATE
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE)
MEETING THE DEMAND FOR FOOD
PANDEMIC EBT
PANDEMIC EMERGENCY UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION
VIRTUAL GRADUATION CEREMONY
BOSTON RESILIENCY FUND UPDATE
SMALL BUSINESS FUND UPDATE
MEMORIAL DAY
GENERAL REMINDERS
STAY INFORMED
COVID-19 CASES
The City of Boston has 12,239 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive). So far, 5,627 of these 12,239 residents have fully recovered. Unfortunately, there have been 599 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 88,970 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive) and 6,066 deaths reported at this time. Massachusetts has also tested 460,826 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 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.
PHASE 1 OF REOPENING
Phase 1 of the State’s reopening plan began this week and some of the City’s precautions go further than the State’s. For more information about Boston’s approach to Phase 1 of reopening, go to Boston.gov/reopening.
NOTE: the Statewide “Safer at Home” advisory is in effect, which directs residents to continue staying home except for healthcare, essential errands, and other activities permitted by Phase 1 guidelines.
LICENSING BOARD UPDATE
  • Outdoor seating for when restaurants reopen is something the City’s been working on. We want to help restaurants recover and create safe distancing options for everyone.
  • The Licensing Board for the City of Boston has taken steps to lift restrictions and streamline existing processes to help small businesses and restaurants as part of the COVID-19 reopening process.
  • At its hearing on Thursday, May 21, 2020 the Board took the following actions:
    • Voted to pass an emergency amendment to its General Rules codifying its existing administrative review of temporary extensions of licensed premise onto outdoor space using its existing One Day Amendment to Existing License Application;
    • Voted to administratively lift citywide the preexisting condition of “alcohol with food only” on outdoor space or any other similar condition that prohibits the sale and service of alcohol on outdoor space without the service of a food item;
    • The Board, Boston Transportation Department, Inspectional Services Department, Public Improvement Commission, and Public Works Department  will waive fees for the approved use of outdoor space for this program, on both public and private property, on a temporary, non-precedent setting basis.
  • On Monday, the Licensing Board issued a questionnaire for businesses that will be used as the starting point for both identifying opportunities for temporary extensions onto outdoor space both on public and private property.
  • Extensions into the public way, whether sidewalks or streets, require evaluation by multiple departments to confirm doing so can be done while ensuring the safety of patrons and employees. The goal is to be able to process and approve these temporary extensions administratively without requiring hearings, fees, or multiple applications going to multiple departments.
    • To date, 147 businesses have filled out the questionnaire across the city ranging from small restaurants and coffee shops in neighborhoods to restaurants downtown. The questionnaire is for businesses who have licenses from the Licensing Board.
  • The data from the questionnaire, in addition to serving as the starting point for the review process, also informs City departments which neighborhoods may not be aware of the temporary extension process so that outreach can be targeted to ensure businesses across the city have access to this opportunity.
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE)
  • The City has been working to make sure frontline employees have PPE, and help as many essential organizations as possible, including nursing homes and long-term care facilities, especially those with limited resources.
  • With Phase 1 of the State’s reopening plan beginning, more workers will need these items. For small businesses, it’s an issue of both public health and economic equity. The Mayor stated that he wants to make sure that every worker has access to the equipment they need to stay safe, and that no small businesses get shut out of reopening because they don’t have supply chain connections.
  • The City is launching a resource to help at boston.gov/business-ppe. It has guidance on what type of PPE businesses and organizations need, how to procure it and avoid scams, and lists of trusted vendors.
  • The Mayor stressed that it is the responsibility of the employer to provide protective gear for all of their workers, but he hopes that this City resource will help them meet this responsibility and keep their workers and customers safe.
MEETING THE DEMAND FOR FOOD
  • As of Monday, the City of Boston and its partner organizations have distributed over 1 million meals to young people at 65 meal sites across Boston.
    • The Boston Public Schools have distributed more than half of those meals. They have also delivered over 200,000 meals directly to the homes of students with special needs.
    • The City has completed nearly 5,000 door-to-door grocery deliveries for people who have reached out in need. 50% are to seniors referred by the Age Strong Commission, and the City has increased Meals on Wheels deliveries by 40% as well.
    • Information about food resources for all ages is available at boston.gov/covid19foodmap.
  • A new report by the Greater Boston Food Bank shows that the number of households they served in April was up 69% compared to a year ago; and the number of children they served is up 81%. The City will continue to focus on food access. So far, the Boston Resilience Fund has distributed more than $9 million in grants to local food providers, and the Fund will continue to focus on food access as a top priority area.
PANDEMIC EBT
Families with school aged children should be the lookout for a Pandemic EBT benefit coming in the mail. P-EBT is a food benefit that supports families and students during school closure due to COVID-19. This includes any student in a school that provides free or reduced meals to all students. Boston Public Schools (BPS) and Charter schools serve free meals so all BPS and Charter School students will receive this benefit. Families do not need to do anything to receive this Pandemic EBT card and there are no applications required.
  • Families will get $5.70 per student per day for every day school is closed to buy food.
  • Families receiving DTA benefits will get their benefits on their existing EBT card.
  • Families not currently receiving DTA benefits will be mailed a new P-EBT card.
NOTE: Using P-EBT benefits does not impact your or your child’s immigration status. The Public Charge rule does not apply to P-EBT benefits.
Questions? Call Project Bread’s Hotline Number at: 1-800-645-8333.
PANDEMIC EMERGENCY UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION
  • Massachusetts residents who are eligible for the federal CARES Act and qualify for having exhausted their regular unemployment compensation may now receive the new Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC).
  • The launch of this program marks the third and final benefit available for the Commonwealth through the CARES Act.
  • PEUC provides up to 13 additional weeks of benefits to an individual who has exhausted all rights to any regular unemployment compensation and who meets other eligibility requirements of the CARES Act. PEUC will automatically begin for individuals who have been receiving regular standard unemployment benefits on an active claim and those benefits are exhausted, and those individuals do not have to take any further action.
  • If an individual’s standard unemployment claim has expired, they must file a new standard claim. If the individual is monetarily eligible on the new standard claim, regardless of the benefit rate amount, they will receive benefits from that new claim. Otherwise, the individual will be eligible for PEUC on the prior claim and it will be automatically implemented.
  • Individuals who exhausted their standard benefits but were receiving benefits through Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) must apply to claim weekly benefits. Residents should apply through the standard unemployment benefits portal available here.
  • Those receiving PEUC will also receive $600 weekly through the week ending July 25, 2020, provided by the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program established by the CARES Act.
  • The CARES Act signed into law on March 27, 2020, established the PEUC, PUA and FPUC public benefit programs that expanded unemployment eligibility, temporarily increases weekly benefits for all claimants and allows additional categories of people to claim unemployment benefits. This is the largest expansion of assistance for the Commonwealth’s workforce since the Great Depression.
  • More information about Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation can be found at mass.gov/peuc.
VIRTUAL COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY FOR THE BPS CLASS OF 2020
On Saturday, June 13 at 7:30 pm, a citywide graduation event will be broadcast for the Boston Public Schools on WCVB, Channel 5. Speakers will include Mayor Walsh, Superintendent Brenda Cassellius, and former US Education Secretary John King, Jr. The event will feature the voices and stories of BPS graduates, and will pay tribute to their journeys through the Boston Public Schools.
BOSTON RESILIENCY FUND UPDATE
  • The Mayor announced 19 new grantees, which will receive a total of $880,000. Consistent with the City’s equity focus, 58% of the organizations are led by a person of color and 58% are women-led organizations.
  • These grants focus on helping seniors who are homebound, people experiencing homelessness, and building on some of the early food grants that were distributed in the past two months.
  • In total, the Boston Resiliency Fund has raised a total of $30.8 million from nearly 6,000 donations, and distributed $18.5 million to 200 organizations. To learn more, donate, or request grant funding, go to Boston.gov/BostonResiliencyFund.
SMALL BUSINESS FUND UPDATE
  • The City of Boston’s Small Business Relief Fund has now given out nearly $4 million in grants to over 1,100 small businesses in every neighborhood across the City of Boston. These are grants, not loans, so they don’t create debt.
  • They are from the industries most heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including restaurants, hair salons and barbershops, arts and recreation facilities, retail stores, childcare and home care providers, and more.
  • 95% of these businesses have 15 or fewer employees, 52% are owned by people of color, 49% are women-owned, and 46% are immigrant-owned.
MEMORIAL DAY
Monday, May 25 is Memorial Day. It recognizes the members of our Armed Forces who gave their lives in the service of our country, from the American Revolution up to the present day.
Ways to celebrate safely:
  • Join virtual Memorial Day events that will be happening on Monday and through the weekend.
  • Show your appreciation for service members who have given the ultimate sacrifice by decorating the outside of your homes with flags and patriotic symbols in a neighborhood show of support.
  • Reminder: The City’s Office of Veterans Services remains fully operational and that veterans and their families can call 617-241-VETS (8387) or email veterans@boston.gov if they are in need of assistance or counseling.
GENERAL REMINDERS
  • 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.
  • Anyone experiencing a medical emergency should call 911. The City of Boston’s EMTs and hospitals have the capacity and ability to treat everyone.
  • 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.
  • Fresh Truck Open Air Markets schedule.
  • City Hall is open to the public on Tuesdays and Fridays, 9 am – 5 pm. Learn more about the status of city departments and hours of operation here.
  • Join the Renter’s Rights Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday, May 26, 6 pm 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.
  • Tell the Parks Department where you would like to see more open space in our neighborhood here.
STAY INFORMED
Receive the latest COVID19 info from reliable sources.
Call: 311 or 211.

Read Full Post »

Please find the latest updates from The City of Boston regarding COVID-19 and re-opening The City.

 

COVID-19 CASES

TESTING UPDATE

REOPENING

2020 CENSUS

OPEN SPACE SURVEY

RENTERS RIGHTS TOWN HALL MEETING

FRESH TRUCK OPEN AIR MARKET

BOSTON RESILIENCY FUND REMINDER

CITY OF BOSTON COVID-19 OPERATIONS

GENERAL REMINDERS

STAY INFORMED

 

COVID-19 CASES

The City of Boston has 12,050 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive). So far, 5,121 of these 12,050 residents have fully recovered. Unfortunately, there have been 588 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 87,052 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive) and 5,862 deaths reported at this time. Massachusetts has also tested 460,826 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 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. 

 

TESTING UPDATE

  • Last week, the citywide positive test rate was 13.9%. This was a new low and brings the city’s cumulative positive test rate to 27%, down 2 percentage points from the week before. The City has continued targeted outreach and testing in neighborhoods seeing the most cases, and as a result, those communities’ positive rates continue to go down.

  • The City also continues to build a citywide strategy for increased testing, which includes an effort that starts next week to test all first responders. 

  • Overall, the data tells us that we have been moving in the right direction on new cases, positive test rates, and hospitalization for about 3 weeks. 

  • Every data trend gives a reason for caution, in terms of how gradual our progress is, how necessary our precautions have been, and how much potential there is for new outbreaks if we don’t keep doing the right things. 

 

REOPENING

Implementing Phase 1 of the State’s Reopening Plan in Boston:

On Monday, May 18, the Governor launched Phase 1 of a statewide reopening plan.The Mayor stressed that reopening does not mean “back to normal”—it means bringing caution and a commitment to stopping the spread of COVID-19 into workplaces and community spaces.

  • Boston will continue to meet the needs of families, seniors, and small businesses, as well as continue to follow the science and public health guidance, while monitoring the data at the city and state levels.

  • The Public Health Emergency declared on March 15 in the City of Boston remains in place until further notice. The same applies to the guidelines for physical distancing and face coverings, as well as the citywide recommended curfew of 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. 

  • The City will continue to focus on equity and meeting the needs of vulnerable communities, families with children, seniors, and small businesses. 

 

Reopening construction:

  • Under the statewide plan: Construction can start the week of May 18.

  • Boston’s approach: Boston has a phased-in approach with comprehensive health and safety requirements. 

    • Starting this week of May 18: Work on schools, hospitals, smaller residential projects, and open-air construction can restart.

    • Starting on May 26: Other work allowed by the state may resume.

  • Contractors must submit a COVID-19 Safety Plan before returning to work. 

 

Reopening office spaces:

  • Under the statewide plan: Office spaces will be allowed to open with 25% capacity starting on May 25. 

  • Boston’s approach: The City will take this step on June 1.

  • This timeline allows the City to work in collaboration with building owners and employers on safety plans that meet robust public health standards.

  • Every employer must create and implement plans for workplaces to minimize the spread of the virus, as outlined by the State.

  • The City is creating guidelines for offices to follow, based on national best practices and expert input.

    • These guidelines include shift scheduling, work-from-home policies, physical spacing, PPE, cleaning protocols, ventilation, employee communication, and more. These guidelines will be shared next week (week of May 25).

 

Reopening small businesses:

  • Under the statewide plan: Retail stores are allowed to open for curbside pickup on May 25, as well as some services, including hair care and car washes. 

  • Boston’s approach: The City is ready to help small businesses create plans that not only meet state guidelines, but go beyond them. However, we are also urging caution. 

  • The Boston Transportation Department has helped facilitate safe curbside pickup for essential businesses, and will expand that work as needed. The City is also developing creative public space solutions for pedestrians in business districts.

  • If businesses don’t feel comfortable opening, the City will back them in that decision and continue to make services and resources available to them. 

  • The City will provide more information in the days and weeks ahead to help employers and community organizations stay safe and connected. Small business owners can reach out to our Office of Small Business

 

Reopening houses of worship:

  • Under the statewide plan: Places of worship are allowed to open starting this week, at 40% capacity and with strict distancing practices and face coverings.

  • Boston’s approach: Places of worship must take a very cautious approach and are urged to not reopen if they have doubts about being able to plan, implement, and monitor strict safety guidelines. 

  • The Statewide “Safer at Home” policy remains in place, which advises against people 65 and older leaving home unless absolutely necessary. The Mayor urged seniors to adhere to the advisory and hold off on going back to places of worship, even if services restart. He also asked faith leaders to reach out to their elderly parishioners, to guide them and support them in putting safety first, and keep them connected in other ways.

  • The City has been getting questions about church choirs and hymns. The Mayor says they shouldn’t happen yet, given the added risk of virus transmission from singing in addition to speaking. Face coverings must be worn at all times.

 

2020 CENSUS

We are reminding residents to take the 2020 Census during this time of physical distancing. To date, only 49.8% of households have responded, which is lower than the statewide average response rate of 64.4%. We need to increase the rate of response.

  • Much of the funding that comes from the Census count helps the most vulnerable among us. It provides, for instance, health care (Medicare and Medicaid), public education (grants for special education and Boston Public Schools), food and nutrition programs (SNAP and free school breakfast/lunch programs), affordable housing (Section 8 vouchers), and child care (Head Start) for low-income families.

  • The 2020 Census is a way to directly increase community power. It will impact our daily lives for the next 10 years. Many of Boston’s communities are at risk of an undercount. We need a complete and accurate count because all of Boston deserves to be seen, heard, and invested in.

  • The Census has never been more accessible. You can respond to the 2020 Census online (my2020census.gov), over the phone, or by mail. You can respond to the 2020 Census online or over the phone in 13 different languages.

 

OPEN SPACE SURVEY

The Boston Parks and Recreation Department is undertaking a Parcel Priority Plan to identify and evaluate land that should be protected as open space. Creating new open space and protecting existing open space will depend on practical concerns and available resources. Please consider sharing your feedback with the Parks Dept about where you would like to see more open space in our neighborhood! Learn more here

 

RENTERS RIGHTS TOWN HALL MEETING

If you have any questions about your rights as a tenant, join the The Department of Neighborhood Development and Greater Boston Legal Services on Tuesday, May 26, at 6 p.m. for a virtual town hall, where we will discuss tenants’ rights during and after COVID-19. The town hall will be a WebEx event and can be accessed here.

 

FRESH TRUCK OPEN AIR MARKET

The Mayor’s Office of Food Access has modified the Fresh Truck weekly markets to provide fresh and affordable fruits and vegetables while keeping our staff, volunteers, and shoppers safe during the COVID-19 crisis. For more information visit www.thefreshtruck.org, email info@thefreshtruck.org, or call (617) 297-7685.

 

Important points on the markets:

  • Fresh Truck Open Air Markets are a safe and convenient way to purchase fresh produce at low prices.

  • Customers can choose from several options of pre-packed $10 bags that obtain a mix of fruits and vegetables.

  • Fresh Truck Open Air Market accepts cash, credit, EBT, and HIP.

  • Markets are conveniently located in various neighborhoods. 

 

Schedule:

Monday: 11am-1pm | Charlestown BHA & Newtown 38 O’Reilly Way  

Tuesday: 2-4pm | East Boston PJK School 343 Saratoga Street   

Wednesday: 11am-1pm | South Boston West Broadway BHA 7 Joyce Hayes Way          Thursday: 10am-12pm | South Boston Mary Ellen McCormack BHA Sterling Square   

Friday: 11am-1pm | Dorchester Franklin Field BHA 9O Ames Street; 11am-1pm | Brighton Faneuil Gardens BHA 45 Faneuil Street

 

BOSTON RESILIENCY FUND REMINDER

The Boston Resiliency Fund provides grant funding to nonprofits supporting communities, families, & individuals in the City of Boston who are most immediately and disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. For more information including translated materials, visit boston.gov/resiliency-fund.

 

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 – 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

 

GENERAL REMINDERS

  • 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. 

  • Anyone experiencing a medical emergency should call 911. The City of Boston’s EMTs and hospitals have the capacity and ability to treat everyone.

  • 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

  • For Food access needs, visit our Food Resources Map or call 3-1-1.

  • 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.

 

Read Full Post »

Please find updates and announcements from The City of Boston regarding COVID-19.

 

COVID-19 CASES
CASE TRENDS IN BOSTON AND REOPENING EXPECTATIONS
BOSTON RESILIENCY FUND UPDATE
SMALL BUSINESS FUND UPDATE
FEDERAL ECONOMIC STIMULUS HOTLINE
ZONING BOARD OF APPEAL VIRTUAL HEARINGS UPDATE
YOUTH JOBS COMMUNITY DIALOGUE
CITY OF BOSTON COVID-19 OPERATIONS
GENERAL REMINDERS
STAY INFORMED

 

COVID-19 CASES
The City of Boston has 11,284 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive) in Boston residents. So far, 3,948 of these 11,284 residents have fully recovered. There have been 542 COVID-19 related deaths in Boston residents. 

 

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 80,492 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive) and 5,315 deaths reported at this time. Massachusetts has also tested 410,032 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 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. 

 

CASE TRENDS IN BOSTON AND REOPENING EXPECTATIONS
  • Boston’s number for new deaths is slowing and Tuesday was the first day we had with no new deaths to report in a 24hr period. 
  • Boston’s number of recoveries of coronavirus cases are growing faster as we continue to get data from the State’s community tracing collaborative. 
  • The City of Boston’s expanded medical capacity is allowing hospitals to maintain expanded ICU capacity. Currently hospitals are at 110% of normal ICU capacity. 
  • As of Tuesday night, there were 158 patients at Boston Hope, including 83 on the homeless respite side, and 75 on the hospital side. Altogether, over 688 patients have been treated at the facility. 
  • Monday, May 18th is a date that many are focused on as the Governor’s Advisory Board is due to release their reopening report. The City of Boston is working every day as part of that advisory board. 
  • Mayor Walsh stressed that he supports a cautious, multi-phased reopening approach that includes clear health criteria and safety guidelines for each industry. Our administration is working on what that will look like for City Hall, city employees and throughout the City of Boston.
  • We’re also in conversation with employers in Boston in many industries such as restaurants, labor organizations, faith communities, advocacy groups, healthcare providers, colleges and universities, office buildings, and other businesses. We have worked to make these conversations broad and inclusive with a focus on equity and the impacts that different communities are experiencing both in health impacts and economic impacts.
  • Mayor Walsh acknowledged that we will not move forward based on dates but will plan reopening around public health data. This must be a gradual phased in approach which depends on testing data and hospital metrics reaching certain benchmarks. It would be worse for our economy to reopen too soon and roll back all of our efforts due to new outbreaks. We must remain focused on physical distancing and good hygiene practices. 

 

BOSTON RESILIENCY FUND UPDATE
As of yesterday, The Boston Resiliency Fund has raised $30.7 million, from over 5,800 donations.
  • This week, we are distributing $1.3 million to 17 organizations.
  • 52% of these organizations are led by a person of color and 47% by women.
  • These grants will allow us to expand telehealth COVID-19 treatment—from 9 current sites to 19 Community Health Centers in Boston. Additional grants support community organizations in providing food, childcare, gift cards, face coverings, and more, to those in need. The populations they work with include seniors, service workers, young people of color, and homeless individuals.
  • Grantee highlights include:
    • The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare, which provides emotional and psychological support to healthcare workers. The program they are launching draws on PTSD experts who work with veterans. They will train staff at hospitals and health centers to treat job-related stress at the work site. 
    • Newmarket Business Association, who will provide truck and delivery support for their neighbors at the Greater Boston Food Bank.
    • Based on previous BRF grants, COVID testing is underway at South Boston Community Health Center and at the Charlestown location of North End Waterfront Health.
  • With this week’s grants, we have now distributed $17.5 million to nearly 200 organizations.

 

SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF FUND UPDATE
Last week, the Mayor announced that the first $2 million of relief is in the hands of 561 locally owned businesses. And we have added $5.5 million more, to help every eligible business that applied.
  • In this first round, we have funded a diverse range of businesses reflective of all of our neighborhoods
    • 58% of the businesses receiving grants are owned by people of color
    • 48% are owned by women
    • 44% are owned by immigrants
    • 95% went to businesses with 15 or fewer employees
    • The top 10 zip codes with the most recipients include East Boston, Jamaica Plain, Brighton, South End, Dorchester, Roslindale, and Roxbury
  • Fenway/Kenmore/Mission Hill recipients in the first round of funding include: ABM Partners, INC, Balance Patch, Bishesh Inc, Boston Burger Company, Boston Yoga Union, Centre Fitness LLC, Cornish Pasty Co Boston, Crispy Dough Pizzeria Inc, Danielle Farrell, DBA Penguin, Evolve Chiropractic & Wellness, Inc. FitnessKarma, HAJU Kitchen, Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, Huntington Property Services, LLC, Josh Morin, Laughing Monk Cafe, Lime Red Tea House, Lolivone De La Rosa, Love Art Sushi Boston LLC, Momo No Yume, Msalon, Nathalie Wine Bar, Neighborhoods Cafe, Noodle Street, Papa’s Pizza Company, Phoraya Thai Spa, PilgrimWaters LLC, Playa Bowls, Poke Bar and Kitchen, Quality Eats LLC, Saigon Fusion, Serif and Sans, Shin Hakata Ramen Corp, Solid Ground Cafe, Sway Spa, LLC, Thai Dish Restaurant, The Corner Tavern, The Kush Grove Shop, Town Nail & Skin Care Inc, University Barber Shop, Who’s on First Inc. d/b/a The Bullpen Kitchen & Tap, Woody Grill & Tap,
  • The full list of recipients is posted here
.
  • The City of Boston has more than tripled the size of this Fund since the first round of applications and we expect additional businesses to be funded. 

 

FEDERAL ECONOMIC STIMULUS HOTLINE
On May 13th, Mayor Walsh announced that the Boston Tax Help Coalition, a program within the Mayor’s Office of Financial Empowerment, has launched a Stimulus Hotline to assist Boston residents eligible for the federal economic stimulus payment.
  • Residents with incomes under $75,000, including those with no income, may be eligible for the full $1,200 payment. However, residents who do not usually file a tax return must file an application with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in order to receive their payment.
  • Boston Tax Help Coalition volunteers and staff have been trained to assist residents in filing this application with the IRS.
  • Boston residents should check if they are eligible for the stimulus before calling at: https://www.bostontaxhelp.org/stimulus-payment-help/.
  • The hotline can be accessed by calling (781) 399-5330 or 311. The hotline is staffed on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m., and calls received outside of those time frames will be returned. Staff are available to assist residents in Spanish, and residents in need of assistance in additional languages will be connected to the appropriate translation services.
  • The Tax Help Coalition is also getting ready to provide its usual free services for the July 15 tax deadline, for those who make under $56,000. We are setting up the technology to be able to provide these services virtually in the coming weeks.

 

ZONING BOARD OF APPEAL VIRTUAL HEARINGS UPDATE
The May 14th, 2020 hearing of the Zoning Board of Appeal Subcommittee will be held virtually, via video teleconferencing and/or telephone. Interested persons can participate in the hearing REMOTELY by following a link to the virtual hearing, or by calling into the virtual hearing via telephone.

 

The May 19th, 2020 hearing of the Zoning Board of Appeal has been POSTPONED
  • Fenway/Kenmore/Mission Hill projects POSTPONED: 809-821 Beacon Street
  • We will follow up with a new hearing date once it has been scheduled

 

YOUTH JOBS COMMUNITY DIALOGUE
The Mayor’s Office of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development will host two community listening sessions to discuss plans for the summer youth jobs program. We also want to hear from you on what creative ideas you may have as we work to figure out ways to engage young people in paid work opportunities this summer.
  • In addition to the Department of Youth Engagement and Employment (DYEE), Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF), and the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, we will also be joined by representatives from ABCD, Boston PIC, and MLK Scholars.
  • May 14th, 2020 2-3PM Zoom Session: https://zoom.us/j/99414693682
  • May 15th, 2020 1-2PM Zoom Session: https://zoom.us/j/98463512997

 

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. 

 

GENERAL REMINDERS
  • 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. 
  • Anyone experiencing a medical emergency should call 911. The City of Boston’s EMTs and hospitals have the capacity and ability to treat everyone.
  • 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 
  • For Food access needs, visit our Food Resources Map or call 3-1-1
  • 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.

Read Full Post »

COVID-19 CASES

CASE TRENDS IN BOSTON AND TESTING UPDATE

STATE OF MA UPDATE

FIRST ROUND OF UNIVERSAL HOMELESS TESTING COMPLETE

RECOVERY AND ADDICTION SERVICES

PUBLIC SPACE AND TRANSPORTATION

UPDATE ON NURSING HOMES AND LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES

SPARK BOSTON WELLNESS WEDNESDAY EVENT

ZONING BOARD OF APPEAL VIRTUAL HEARINGS

CITY OF BOSTON COVID-19 OPERATIONS

GENERAL REMINDERS

STAY INFORMED

 

COVID-19 CASES

The City of Boston has 11,106 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive) in Boston residents. So far, 3,327 of these 11,106 residents have fully recovered. There have been 533 COVID-19 related deaths in Boston residents. 

 

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 78,462 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive) and 5,108 deaths reported at this time. Massachusetts has also tested 394,728 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 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. 

 

CASE TRENDS IN BOSTON AND TESTING UPDATE

  • The City of Boston’s expanded medical capacity is allowing hospitals to maintain expanded ICU capacity. Currently hospitals are at 110% of normal ICU capacity. This is better than the last few weeks but we still need to continue practicing physical distancing and good hygiene.

  • As of Sunday night, there were 164 patients at Boston Hope, including 82 on the homeless respite side, and 82 on the hospital side. Altogether, over 650 patients have been treated at the facility. 

  • Every neighborhood saw its positive test rates go down this past week. Mayor Walsh acknowledged that is a testament to the physical distancing residents are doing, and the expanded testing access we have created citywide. 


  • The neighborhoods with the biggest reductions week-over-week were: East Boston, with a 19% drop in positive results and Mattapan, which had a 15% drop. The Mayor also noted that this drop is a testament to the work of the COVID-19 Healthcare Inequities Task Force and the ways the City is targeting outreach and testing in the most impacted communities.

  • Residents can find up-to-date information on the City’s map of testing sites at boston.gov/coronavirus.

 

STATE OF MA UPDATE

On May 11th, Governor Baker announced a four-phase approach to reopening the Massachusetts economy amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and published Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards that will apply across all sectors and industries once reopening begins. More information here.

  • The Reopening Advisory Board met with 44 stakeholders representing different industries and sectors, and received written comments from more than 2,200 employers and organizations. Additional information here.

  • The board’s full report will be released by May 18, which will include protocols and guidelines for how different industries should operate once they reopen.

 

FIRST ROUND OF UNIVERSAL HOMELESS TESTING COMPLETE

On May 11th, Mayor Walsh announced that the City of Boston’s first round of universal testing in the homeless population was completed at the end of last week.

  • In this first round, we tested over 2,200 individuals. 735 tested positive, for a 33% infection rate. Those individuals have been provided with quarantine space, support, and medical treatment when necessary. 


  • The result is that severe illness has been kept to a low level for a medically vulnerable population. The consensus of those who work with the homeless is that the impact could have been much worse. The Mayor thanked City staff and nonprofits like Healthcare for the Homeless and Pine Street Inn for their strong partnerships, as well as institutions that stepped up with space, like Suffolk University, Boston University, Northeastern University, and Emerson College. 


  • Mayor Walsh reiterated that homeless individuals and families remain a top priority in the City’s work to slow the spread of COVID-19. He noted that there is more work to be done, including more testing and longer-term shelter space. We’re also working on permanent housing solutions and helping 1,000 families of Boston Public Schools students secure affordable housing using BHA rental vouchers we dedicated for that purpose.


  • When construction re-starts, the City will make it a priority to create supportive housing for the homeless, continuing the progress Boston has made toward ending chronic homelessness.

 

RECOVERY AND ADDICTION SERVICES

Mayor Walsh shared that the City of Boston’s addiction and recovery services remain fully operational. The Mayor noted that finding beds for in-patient treatment after detox continues to be a big challenge, and that supporting those experiencing substance use disorder remains a top priority for Boston.

  • The staff at the Office of Recovery Services has worked hard to adapt their services to crisis conditions including the following changes:

    • Moving harm reduction services outdoors, to help active users stay safe.


    • Expanding outdoor space at the Engagement Center, to allow for physical distancing. 


    • Keeping the Street Outreach Team active. 


    • Creating comfort stations with bathrooms, hand washing, Narcan, and more. The City is actively looking at additional locations.

  • We’re working with faith communities in downtown to help them open up new daytime spaces 


  • We’ve moved outpatient treatment services to a telehealth model. 


  • We’re conducting universal testing at residential programs. 


  • We continue to help people get into detox and treatment.

 

PUBLIC SPACE AND TRANSPORTATION

On May 11th, Mayor Walsh announced that as the City of Boston looks to a phased reopening, we will prioritize creating additional public space for physical distancing, support our small businesses with curb space they may need and ensure that everyone has safe and healthy transportation options.

  • In addition to planned capital investment in safe and sustainable streets, the City is looking at ways to expand space for pedestrians, small business customers, cyclists, and bus commuters including:

    • Expanding sidewalks in business districts to help with physical distancing, especially where people wait in line for businesses that are following new capacity guidelines.


    • Opening up entire lanes for pedestrian and cyclist use, which could also calm traffic speeds. This needs to happen in a way that does not cut off emergency vehicles or delivery access for residents. 


    • Expanding bus stops and bus priority on roads. While subway ridership is down, essential workers continue to rely heavily on bus routes.

 

UPDATE ON NURSING HOMES AND LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES

Mayor Walsh acknowledged the impact the virus has had on nursing homes, assisted living communities, and other residential facilities for elderly and medically vulnerable individuals. He noted that data from nursing homes and senior care facilities is devastating, and is consistent with the statewide and nationwide impact.

  • These facilities are licensed and regulated by the State, so the City’s work in this area is tied to the State’s efforts and done in collaboration with State officials.


  • Mayor Walsh assured residents, families, and staff that the City of Boston has been in contact with elder care facilities since the beginning of the crisis. The City communicates with administrators of these institutions every day, and is getting them the resources and support they need. 


  • The Disease Containment Strike Team was created to help facilities facing an outbreak. As of May 5th, the Team has provided over 414 staff shifts—including nurses, nursing assistants, and personal care attendants, as well as administrative support to those facilities. 


  • We’ve also provided 206,000 items of Personal Protective Equipment to these facilities—including 62,000 medical masks, 6,000 face shields, and over 14,000 gowns.


  • Boston will begin sharing the State’s data on Boston facilities on a weekly basis. As of May 9: across 39 facilities, 252 residents have passed away, or 48% of our Citywide total. 


  • Mayor Walsh pledged to continue the City’s support for nursing homes and their residents, including the families with loved ones in these facilities, and to share more information when it’s available. 


 

SPARK BOSTON WELLNESS WEDNESDAY EVENT

Hosted by SPARK Boston, the Mattapan and Hyde Park communities, May 13 is Wellness Wednesday! From 12-1 PM, join us as we talk about mental health, provide tips and develop new habits. Speakers on this call will include Anim Aweh LCSW,LICSW,CHE and Orville E Joseph. Please be prepared to join us in a safe space with weights for a light workout.

 

ZONING BOARD OF APPEAL VIRTUAL HEARINGS

The May 14th, 2020 hearing of the Zoning Board of Appeal Subcommittee and the May 19th, 2020 hearing of the Zoning Board of Appeal will be held virtually, via video teleconferencing and/or telephone. Interested persons can participate in the hearing REMOTELY by following a link to the virtual hearing, or by calling into the virtual hearing via telephone.

  • There are no Fenway/Kenmore/Mission Hill projects scheduled for May 14th.

  • Fenway/Kenmore/Mission Hill projects scheduled on May 19th: 809-821 Beacon Street

  • The hearing agendas including the hearing video and phone access information will be posted on the Public Notices page of Boston.gov 

  • Further instructions on how to offer comments during the virtual hearing will be provided prior to the hearing. Instructions for commenting will also be provided during the hearing.

 

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. 

 

GENERAL REMINDERS

  • 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. 

  • Anyone experiencing a medical emergency should call 911. The City of Boston’s EMTs and hospitals have the capacity and ability to treat everyone.

  • 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 

  • For Food access needs, visit our Food Resources Map or call 3-1-1

  • 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.

Read Full Post »

COVID-19 CASES
CASE TRENDS IN BOSTON
COVID-19 INFORMATION BOOKLETS
STATEWIDE FACE COVERING MANDATE
NEW STEPS AND PROGRESS TO EXPAND TESTING ACCESS
BOSTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS UPDATE
EXPANDING FOOD ACCESS FOR FAMILIES AND SENIORS
CITY OF BOSTON COVID-19 OPERATIONS
CONSTRUCTION
HELP COVID-19 EFFORTS
STAY INFORMED

 

COVID-19 CASES
The City of Boston has 10,077 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive) in Boston residents. So far, 2,384 of these 10,077 residents have fully recovered. There have been 442 COVID-19 related deaths in Boston residents. 

 

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 69,087 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive) and 4,090 deaths reported at this time. Massachusetts has also tested 324,268 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 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. 

 

CASE TRENDS IN BOSTON
At Today’s press briefing, Mayor Walsh provided some additional data to illustrate the current state of the coronavirus outbreak in Boston.
  • The daily increase in cases has been roughly steady for some time. 
  • The number of people in ICU care for COVID-19 at Boston hospitals has been gradually going down. 
  • At the same time, Boston hospitals are still operating at around 120% of normal ICU capacity. 
  • We are still relying on Boston Hope Medical Center at the BCEC to help make that space available. As of Sunday night, there were 161 patients at Boston Hope, including 63 on the homeless respite side, and 98 on the hospital side. Altogether, 548 patients have been treated at the facility. This is allowing hospitals to maintain expanded ICU capacity. 
  • Mayor Walsh expressed that Boston is moving in the right direction, but that this is not a time to ease up on the precautions we are taking to prevent the spread of the virus.
COVID-19 INFORMATION BOOKLETS
This weekend we began distributing new COVID-19 information booklets with information on how to stay safe during the coronavirus outbreak. This information is available in 7 languages. In total, we will be distributing about 70,000 of these booklets to places like convenience stores, banks, and food distribution sites. Following the recommendations of the City of Boston’s COVID-19 Health Inequities Task Force, we are targeting neighborhoods with the greatest needs to bridge information gaps. You may find a copy of the booklet here.

 

STATEWIDE FACE COVERING MANDATE
Governor Baker’s executive order requiring all Massachusetts residents over the age of 2 to wear face coverings in public and wherever physical distancing is a challenge, goes into effect on Wednesday, May 6. This includes at grocery stores, retail stores, and on public transit. An example of how to make a face covering can be found here.

 

NEW STEPS AND PROGRESS TO EXPAND TESTING ACCESS
  • So far, about 28,000 Boston residents, or 4% of the City’s population, have been tested for COVID-19. Last week, testing increased by 44%. Currently, about 32% of people who get tested are testing positive. This number has been trending down slightly. We are analyzing the data to see how the virus is impacting certain neighborhoods the hardest.
  • COVID-19 testing is being conducted at Boston’s hospitals and community health centers. By the end of this week, there will be 19 testing sites in Boston. This week, Brigham & Women’s Hospital will begin running a testing site at the BCYF Tobin Center in Roxbury. Residents can find a map of testing sites on boston.gov and bphc.org. The Mayor reminded residents to call ahead for pre-screening and to schedule an appointment.
  • We continue to conduct universal testing among the homeless population. So far, more than 1,800 homeless individuals in Boston have been tested. About 33%, or 596 individuals, have tested positive. 2 homeless individuals have passed away from COVID-19 in Boston.
  • The City of Boston’s antibody testing initiative is ongoing. This is a partnership with Mass General Hospital, that entails testing 1,000 residents of East Boston, Roslindale and the 02121 and 02125 zip codes of Dorchester. These neighborhoods reflect Boston’s diversity and the results will provide important information about how different populations are being impacted. We will make a summary of the results available, including the numbers and percentage of residents who test positive for the virus and its antibodies.

 

BOSTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS UPDATE:
  • On Friday, May 1, BPS shared new policies with families and schools for remote learning. Those policies go into effect today, Monday May 4. This updated learning plan gives more guidance for students and teachers around attendance, assignments, grading, and scheduling. It also provides predictability for families with routine class schedules and contact between students and teachers. 
    • As part of the new policies, no student will be held back in their grade. All students will advance to the next grade and have opportunities for summer learning and additional support in the fall. 
    • If parents believe their child would benefit from repeating their grade, they can request a meeting with their teacher to discuss further.
  • The City of Boston is working with the Boston Public Schools to develop plans to honor graduating seniors and their families. Details will be shared soon.
  • Mayor Walsh thanked Boston’s teachers and staff for their continued cooperation during this difficult time, acknowledging that this week is Teachers Appreciation Week, and tomorrow is National Teachers Day.
  • The Mayor stated that throughout the final weeks of the school year, BPS will continue distributing free meals for students and other resources; connecting with students on a routine basis; and collaborating with school communities, nonprofit partners, and parent groups, to ensure that students are getting the support they need. 
Meal Distribution sites near Fenway, Kenmore, and Mission Hill include the following:
 
BCYF Tobin at 1481 Tremont Street — 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM 
Boston Latin School at 78 Avenue Louis Pasteur 
— 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
YMCA at 316 Huntington Ave — 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Blackstone Elementary School at 380 Shawmut Ave — 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Vibrant Boston Community Center at Lenox/Camden at 136 Lenox St — 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

 

EXPANDING FOOD ACCESS FOR FAMILIES AND SENIORS
On May 4th, Mayor Walsh discussed new food benefits for families and on-going programs that serve seniors in Boston.
  • Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) is a special food benefit authorized by the federal coronavirus bill. It’s available for all Boston Public Schools and Charter School students while schools are closed. Households will receive $5.70 per child per school day for the duration of school closures—or $28.50 a week per child. If families currently receive SNAP benefits, the P-EBT will be added to their cards. If families aren’t enrolled, they will get cards sent to them in the mail. Some families may have gotten their benefits last week, and everyone else can expect to receive theirs in the coming weeks. 
  • Using P-EBT benefits does not impact any adult or child’s immigration status, and the Public Charge rule does not apply to P-EBT benefits. 
  • If families have questions about P-EBT, SNAP, WIC or other food resources, they can call Project Bread’s Hotline at 1-800-645-8333. They can also contact the city’s Office of Food Access at 617-635-3717 or by email at food@boston.gov.
  • The City of Boston also continues to operate 65 youth-oriented meal sites, which are open every weekday with weekend meals available on Friday. Eight of these sites serve youth and adults in East Boston, Dorchester, South Boston, Mattapan, and Brighton, Mission Hill and Egleston Square, which is easily accessible from Roxbury and JP.  By the end of this week, we will have added an additional 8 sites in East Boston, Charlestown, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, Hyde Park, and Roxbury, almost doubling the number of meals available to adults. The City of Boston has served more than 740,000 meals at its meal sites so far. For hours and locations, visit the Food Resources Map on Boston.gov or call 3-1-1.
  • We continue to serve seniors through the Meals on Wheels program. Last week over 58,000 meals were distributed, representing a 33% increase from the pre-COVID levels. 
  • The City of Boston is launching a new food program with the Greater Boston Food Bank, Boston Public Schools, the Boston Housing Authority, and the Age Strong Commission. This week, they will distribute 2,400 boxes of food to households in need within the Boston Housing Authority and at others identified by the Age Strong Commission. 
  • Mayor Walsh thanked all of the partners who have helped make this happen, including volunteers with the Building Trades, the Boston Housing Authority, and the Newmarket Business Association.
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.

 

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

 

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 
  • For Food access needs, visit our Food Resources Map or call 3-1-1
  • 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.

Read Full Post »

Please be aware that:

South Boston and Fenway experienced higher positive rates during the past week compared to previous data and that the city is working to increase testing in these neighborhoods. 

Please find the latest updates from The City of Boston regarding COVID-19.

COVID-19 CASES

TESTING UPDATE

FACE COVERINGS AND PHYSICAL DISTANCING

IMPORTANCE OF SAFE DRIVING

COMMUNITY OUTREACH UPDATE 

MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES

BOSTON SOCIAL FITNESS VIRTUAL EVENT

CITY OF BOSTON COVID-19 OPERATIONS

BOSTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS UPDATE

CONSTRUCTION

HELP COVID-19 EFFORTS

STAY INFORMED


COVID-19 CASES

The City of Boston has 9,590 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive) in Boston residents. So far, 2,201 of these 9,590 residents have fully recovered. There have been 410 COVID-19 related deaths in Boston residents. 


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 64,311 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive) and 3,716 deaths reported at this time. Massachusetts has also tested 289,636 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 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. 


TESTING UPDATE

This week, testing in Boston increased over 44% from the previous week. To date, nearly 28,000 Boston residents have been tested for coronavirus. Of those total tests, 32% have tested positive, a slight decrease from the 33% reported last week. Mayor Walsh provided an update on some updates on testing availability and results in different neighborhoods.

  • East Boston had 86% more testing than it had the previous week. This was the biggest increase in testing of any neighborhood. The percentage of people testing positive in East Boston went down, but East Boston still has the highest positive rates in the city. 

  • Mattapan, Roxbury, West Roxbury and Hyde Park had the largest decreases in positives comparing this week with previous data.

  • South Boston and Fenway experienced higher positive rates during the past week compared to previous data. We are working to increase testing in these neighborhoods. 

  • The City is working to open new testing sites in Jamaica Plain and Charlestown. 

  • We continue to conduct universal testing for Boston’s homeless population in both city-run and nonprofit shelters. 

  • Antibody testing of 1000 residents is 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.

FACE COVERINGS AND PHYSICAL DISTANCING

Mayor Walsh continued to stress the importance of wearing face coverings in public. Everyone should wear a face covering over their nose and mouth anytime they leave their home and are around other people. This includes while running, cycling, entering essential businesses, or other buildings.  

  • The City of Boston has been working with the State to strengthen the guidance on face coverings. On Friday afternoon, Governor Baker issued an executive order requiring all Massachusetts residents over the age of 2 to wear masks in public, including at grocery stores, retail stores, and on transit. The order goes into effect on Wednesday, May 6. 

  • Mayor Walsh also reminded people not to gather in groups of any kind, including this weekend, when the forecast calls for pleasant weather. Please stay home and avoid contact with others, respect the recommended curfew from 9pm to 6am, stay at least six feet from other people at all times, wash your hands frequently and clean and sanitize surfaces frequently.

IMPORTANCE OF SAFE DRIVING

During the public health emergency, there have been fewer cars on the road, and there have been fewer crashes. Mayor Walsh stated that over the past five years, traffic fatalities have gone down by more than half in Boston, and that this is not the time to go backwards.

  • BPD has reported more speeding and hospitals are reporting more severe injuries from crashes. Injuries are more severe and death more likely when speeds are higher at impact, even just by a few miles per hour.

  • All drivers should respect speed limits, and to pay attention to how fast they are going on the roads, and be aware of their surroundings.

  • In Boston, all roads have a default speed limit of 25 miles per hour unless otherwise posted. 

  • Mayor Walsh stated that over the past five years, traffic fatalities have gone down by more than half in Boston, and that this is not the time to go backwards.

COMMUNITY OUTREACH UPDATE

Mayor Walsh discussed a key priority is to keep all residents informed about the coronavirus in a transparent and timely manner. Besides these regular emails to community groups, we’re also engaged in the following efforts.

  • The City of Boston has more than 200 print and digital billboards displaying critical public health information throughout the city.

  • Nearly 65,000 people have signed up for the City’s text alert system, which is available in 11 languages. Sign up by texting BOSCOVID to 888-777. 

  • Boston.gov/coronavirus has all the latest information and resources, available in 11 languages, including English. 

  • Residents can also call the 3-1-1 helpline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • In March, 1,000 volunteers delivered printed information in multiple languages to every home in Boston. 

  • We have deployed sound trucks to neighborhoods with higher rates of coronavirus, including Mattapan, Dorchester, Hyde Park, East Boston, Roslindale, and Roxbury. 

  • Robocalls with new information in multiple languages go out to more than 70,000 seniors multiple times per week. 

  • Today the Mayor announced that the City will be distributing community care kits to areas that our COVID-19 Health Inequities Task Force identified as having the greatest need. These kits will contain things like resources and supplies to help residents stay healthy and safe. We are partnering with a local vendor, Dorchester-based College Hype, to distribute these items.

  • We’ve also printed new booklets with critical information on how to stay safe during the coronavirus outbreak, including how to make a face covering, how to practice physical distancing, what to do if you get sick, and more. Neighborhood liaisons will distribute nearly 100,000 of these booklets this weekend. 

  • The City of Boston will be putting up new signage in high-traffic areas. These signs will include information in 7 languages, and they will start going up this weekend. 

  • The City is also producing posters which will be displayed in the windows of neighborhood businesses.

MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES

May is Mental Health Month, and the Mayor acknowledged the additional stress that people are facing this year due to the global pandemic. He reminded residents that it is normal to feel sad, scared, lonely, or overwhelmed, and that there are resources available. We urge you call your health care provider to get set up with telehealth counseling 

  • People can also call the City of Boston’s 24-hour helpline at 3-1-1 to get connected to anonymous counseling over the phone.

  • The City of Boston is reaching out to City employees to make them aware of mental health resources that are available to them through the Employee Assistance Program. The Mayor encouraged other employers to make the mental health of their employees a top priority. 

  • We also have resources for students who are struggling. BPS School psychologists, social workers, and counselors are reaching out to families to plan and support students while schools are closed. If parents have concerns, and their child does not already see a counselor, they should reach out to their school.

  • Mayor Walsh reminded residents that anyone dealing with a health or safety emergency should call 9-1-1 right away. 

  • If you are having suicidal thoughts, call or text The Samaritans at 877-870-4673. You can also reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. 

  • Anyone facing domestic abuse, child abuse, or suspects abuse should call 9-1-1. They can also call SafeLink, the State’s 24/7 toll-free hotline at 877-785-2020. It now also includes resources and support for survivors of sexual assault. 

  • All of the City’s recovery services are still open. We have online resources including links to online meetings at Boston.gov/Recovery. You can also call 3-1-1.

BOSTON SOCIAL FITNESS VIRTUAL EVENT

The City of Boston in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts will be hosting a virtual Boston Social Fitness Festival in honor of National Fitness Day on May 2nd.

  • Sign up for FREE live at-home fitness classes here

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 PUBLIC SCHOOLS:

Boston Public Schools will be closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. The next phase of learning from home starts on Monday, May 4. Families will receive additional information from the Superintendent later this week about attendance, grading, and schedules.

  • Schools will be creating individualized learning plans for students with the highest needs, to make sure no one falls behind. These expectations may continue to evolve as the City gets further guidance from the State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and the US Department of Education.

  • The City of Boston continues to support remote learning for BPS students, including setting up more than 2,000 wifi hotspots, distributing more than 30,000 laptops, and serving free breakfast and lunch every single weekday to youth and children at 65 locations. To date, the City has served more than half a million meals at youth meal sites. We also operate six adult meal sites for grab-and-go meals. A map of Boston’s food resources can be found here

  • We are focused on students’ social and emotional health. Going forward, every school will have a Student Support Team to monitor students’ well-being, engagement, and progress. 

  • We will continue to share more details about our plans for the Boston Public Schools throughout this week.


Meal Distribution sites near Fenway, Kenmore, and Mission Hill include the following:

 
BCYF Tobin at 1481 Tremont Street — 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM 
Boston Latin School at 78 Avenue Louis Pasteur 
— 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
YMCA at 316 Huntington Ave — 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Blackstone Elementary School at 380 Shawmut Ave — 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Vibrant Boston Community Center at Lenox/Camden at 136 Lenox St — 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM


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


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 

  • For Food access needs, visit our Food Resources Map or call 3-1-1

  • 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.

Read Full Post »

Please see updates regarding COVID-19 in Boston as of April, 29th, 2020.

COVID-19 CASES

PRECAUTIONS INDIVIDUAL RESIDENTS SHOULD CONTINUE TO TAKE

EXTENSION OF STATEWIDE STAY-AT-HOME ADVISORY AND ESSENTIAL SERVICES ORDER

EXPANDING ACCESS TO TESTING

BOSTON RESILIENCY FUND NEW GRANTEES

FOOD ACCESS UPDATE

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR INDIVIDUALS

RESOURCES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

EXPANDING INTERNET ACCESS

LOVE YOUR BLOCK SUNFLOWER SEED CARE KITS

CITY OF BOSTON COVID-19 OPERATIONS

BOSTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS UPDATE

CONSTRUCTION

HELP COVID-19 EFFORTS

STAY INFORMED

 

COVID-19 CASES

The City of Boston has 9,055 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive) in Boston residents. So far, 1,986 of these 9,055 residents have fully recovered. There have been 340 COVID-19 related deaths in Boston residents.

 

The City posts race and ethnicity data for deaths, as well as for confirmed cases on boston.gov/coronavirus. The data shows that of the 293 deaths in Boston, where race is known, 43% are white, 34% are black, 8% are Asian or Pacific Islander, 11% are Latino, and 4% are identified as other. The City of Boston’s COVID-19 Health Inequities Task Force meets regularly. They are identifying key strategies to address inequities including expanded testng, data sharing and analysis, and strengthening neighborhood outreach.

 

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 60,265 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive) and 3,405 deaths reported at this time. Massachusetts has also tested 265,618 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 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.

 

PRECAUTIONS INDIVIDUAL RESIDENTS SHOULD CONTINUE TO TAKE

We know that the biggest tools we have to limit the spread of COVID-19 is physical distancing and proper hygiene. Mayor Walsh offered the following reminders in his remarks today.

  • The Mayor urged residents to stay home and avoid contact with others; respect the recommended curfew from 9pm to 6am; wear a face covering whenever they leave home; stay at least six feet from other people at all times; wash their hands and clean and sanitize surfaces frequently.

  • The Mayor made a specific plea to runners and cyclists. He said that they need to wear a face covering when exercising in order to protect themselves and others. He reminded residents that many people who are infected with COVID do not show symptoms, and may not be aware that they are passing it along when they run or bike near others.

  • The Mayor repeated his call for people to not hesitate to seek medical help if they are experiencing a medical emergency. If residents are having mild or moderate symptoms consistent with the coronavirus, they should call their doctor or the 3-1-1 Health Line. But if they are having a medical emergency of any kind, including difficulty breathing, chest pains, or signs of stroke, they should call 9-1-1 immediately. That also applies to anyone who feels threatened by violence in the home, or is aware of abuse going on.

 

EXTENSION OF STATEWIDE STAY-AT-HOME ADVISORY AND ESSENTIAL SERVICES ORDER

Mayor Walsh voiced support for the Governor’s decision to extend the stay-at-home order, the ban on non-essential businesses operating physical locations, and the ban on gatherings of more than 10 people until May 18.

  • Governor Baker has created a Reopening Advisory Board, composed of public health, state and local government, and private industry leaders. As a member of the 17-person board, the Mayor’s Chief of Staff Kathryn Burton will be the City of Boston’s point person for coordinating the state and city reopening framework. More information including a full list of the Reopening Advisory Board members can be found here.

  • The Boston Public Health Commission’s Public Health Emergency remains in effect until further notice. The curfew advisory has been extended to May 18. All measures taken by the City of Boston will continue to be guided by local public health data and expert advice.

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.

BOSTON RESILIENCY FUND NEW GRANTEES

So far, including today’s awardees, the Boston Resiliency Fund has raised a total of $27.4 million from nearly 5000 donors, and distributed $15.2 million to 165 organizations.

  • Today, 18 organizations were awarded a total of $1.4 million including community health centers, the Greater Boston Food Bank, local food providers in Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan; organizations serving seniors; organizations serving unsheltered homeless people; and organizations serving immigrant communities that provide culturally specific food and services.

  • Full list of grantees can be found here

 

FOOD ACCESS UPDATE

The City of Boston and its partners have served more than half a million meals at 65 youth-oriented meal pickup sites across the city since the school closure went into effect.

  • He acknowledged the financial hardships that people are going through and pledged to continue providing support.

  • Seven of these meal sites are now serving adults, focusing on the neighborhoods with the greatest needs. The newest one opened today at the East Boston Social Center. Tomorrow, an eighth site will come online at the BHA’s Alice Taylor apartments in Mission Hill.

  • A map of meal sites and information about other food resources are available at boston.gov/coronavirus.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR INDIVIDUALS

On April 29th, Mayor Walsh announced that the City of Boston has secured over $10 million in Federal funding to re-supply rental relief and small business relief programs and meet other essential needs. With May 1st on the horizon and the rent or mortgage due for many, we also wanted to remind folks of the following resources.

  • Anyone struggling to pay their rent or mortgage should reach out to their landlord or bank and ask what options are available.

  • The City is working with its non-profit partners to process 800 applications for the Rental Relief Fund; and it’s working with the State and Federal governments to identify additional resources for this program.

  • Today the Mayor announced that two additional banks, Leader Bank and Berkshire Bank, have signed on to the City’s Foreclosure Prevention Plan, bringing the total to 17 lenders. Participating lenders agree to defer mortgage payments for at least three months, and more if necessary; to not report late payments to credit rating agencies; and to provide scheduled repayment plans.

    • Other recent signees include the Boston Firefighters Credit Union, and the lenders that work with Mass Housing and the Mass Housing Partnership on first-time homeowner programs.

  • The Mayor reminded residents that if they are having a difficult time paying their mortgage, they should reach out to their lender. The Boston Home Center is also available to provide additional assistance at 617-635-HOME. More information here.

  • The State of Massachusetts also passed legislation to ban evictions and foreclosures during the public health emergency.

RESOURCES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

We encourage small businesses impacted by COVID-19 to reach out to the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development about resources that may be available. Email smallbiz@boston.gov for more information.

  • By the end of this week, the City’s Small Business Relief Fund, which started with $2 million, will have distributed 83% of those funds to over 500 businesses in the City of Boston.

  • New federal funding will allow the City to fulfill all eligible and approved grant requests for small businesses in the industries most impacted by the COVID-19 response.

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.

 

LOVE YOUR BLOCK SUNFLOWER SEED CARE KITS

Love Your Block in partnership with The Roxbury Sunflower Project and Eastie Farms will be giving away free sunflower seeds with care instructions to anyone who requests a packet.

  • Our goal is to promote mental health wellness and passive family friendly activities that will help beautify our communities.

  • Requests can be made here and will be filled on a first come basis until supplies run out.

  • Learn more about The Roxbury Sunflower Project led by artist Ekua Holmes here and here

 

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 PUBLIC SCHOOLS:

Boston Public Schools will be closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. The next phase of learning from home starts on Monday, May 4. Families will receive additional information from the Superintendent later this week about attendance, grading, and schedules.

  • Schools will be creating individualized learning plans for students with the highest needs, to make sure no one falls behind. These expectations may continue to evolve as the City gets further guidance from the State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and the US Department of Education.

  • The City of Boston continues to support remote learning for BPS students, including setting up more than 2,000 wifi hotspots, distributing more than 30,000 laptops, and serving free breakfast and lunch every single weekday to youth and children at 65 locations. To date, the City has served more than half a million meals at youth meal sites. We also operate six adult meal sites for grab-and-go meals. A map of Boston’s food resources can be found here.

  • We are focused on students’ social and emotional health. Going forward, every school will have a Student Support Team to monitor students’ well-being, engagement, and progress.

  • We will continue to share more details about our plans for the Boston Public Schools throughout this week.

 

Meal Distribution sites near Fenway, Kenmore, and Mission Hill include the following:

 
BCYF Tobin at 1481 Tremont Street — 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM 
Boston Latin School at 78 Avenue Louis Pasteur 
— 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
YMCA at 316 Huntington Ave — 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Blackstone Elementary School at 380 Shawmut Ave — 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Vibrant Boston Community Center at Lenox/Camden at 136 Lenox St — 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

 

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.

 

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

  • For Food access needs, visit our Food Resources Map or call 3-1-1

  • 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.

Read Full Post »

COVID-19 CASES

ANTIBODY TESTING INITIATIVE

BOSTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS UPDATE

EXPIRATION OF MAY 4TH STATE OF MA STAY-AT-HOME ADVISORY

BOSTON PUBLIC HEALTH COMMISSION COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS

REMINDER TO SEEK MEDICAL HELP

CITY OF BOSTON COVID-19 OPERATIONS

CONSTRUCTION

HIRING BPHC POSITIONS

HELP COVID-19 EFFORTS

STAY INFORMED

 

COVID-19 CASES

The City of Boston has 8,421 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive) in Boston residents. So far, 1,724 of these 8,421 residents have fully recovered. There have been 315 COVID-19 related deaths in Boston residents. 

 

The City posts race and ethnicity data for deaths, as well as for confirmed cases on boston.gov/coronavirus. As of yesterday, the data shows that of the 193 deaths in Boston, where race is known, 42% are white, 33% are black, 8% are Asian or Pacific Islander, 12% are Latino, and 4% are identified as other. The City of Boston’s COVID-19 Health Inequities Task Force meets regularly. They are identifying key strategies to address inequities including expanded testng, data sharing and analysis, and strengthening neighborhood outreach.

 

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 56,462 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive) and 3,003 deaths reported at this time. Massachusetts has also tested 244,887 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 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. 

 

ANTIBODY TESTING INITIATIVE

On April 27th, Mayor Walsh announced that the City of Boston is launching an antibody testing initiative. 

  • In partnership with Mass General Hospital, the City will test 1,000 residents of East Boston, Roslindale and the 02121 and 02125 zip codes of Dorchester. These neighborhoods reflect the diversity of our City and will give us important information about how different populations are being impacted.

  • Residents who agree to participate will be tested for both the COVID-19 virus and COVID-19 antibodies. This information should help the City understand and contain the virus more effectively, and chart the path to recovery.

  • Regular testing detects the presence of the virus and shows whether someone is currently infected. Antibody testing helps show how many people have already recovered from the virus.

  • Testing in the community will give a better idea of how widespread the outbreak really is in Boston, and give an estimate of how many more people will likely be infected. It will help the City plan and use resources in a smart way, and target areas that are the most vulnerable.

  • The Mayor gave an overview of the City’s expanded testing efforts, including:

    • Setting up 15 testing sites across Boston’s neighborhoods. 

    • Creating a map which shows the locations, hours, and contact information for all testing sites in Boston.

    • Collecting and and sharing data on testing, including race, ethnicity, and neighborhood information. 

    • Increasing testing by over 30% in the last week, with increases as big as 57% in some areas.

    • Universal testing for our homeless population after securing 1,000 additional tests last week.

BOSTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS UPDATE:

Boston Public Schools will be closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. The next phase of learning from home starts on Monday, May 4. Families will receive additional information from the Superintendent later this week about attendance, grading, and schedules.

  • Schools will be creating individualized learning plans for students with the highest needs, to make sure no one falls behind. These expectations may continue to evolve as the City gets further guidance from the State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and the US Department of Education.

  • The City of Boston continues to support remote learning for BPS students, including setting up more than 2,000 wifi hotspots, distributing more than 30,000 laptops, and serving free breakfast and lunch every single weekday to youth and children at 65 locations. To date, the City has served more than half a million meals at youth meal sites. We also operate six adult meal sites for grab-and-go meals. A map of Boston’s food resources can be found here

  • We are focused on students’ social and emotional health. Going forward, every school will have a Student Support Team to monitor students’ well-being, engagement, and progress. 

  • We will continue to share more details about our plans for the Boston Public Schools throughout this week.

Meal Distribution sites near Fenway, Kenmore, and Mission Hill include the following:

 
BCYF Tobin at 1481 Tremont Street — 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM 
Boston Latin School at 78 Avenue Louis Pasteur 
— 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
YMCA at 316 Huntington Ave — 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Blackstone Elementary School at 380 Shawmut Ave — 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Vibrant Boston Community Center at Lenox/Camden at 136 Lenox St — 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

 

EXPIRATION OF MAY 4TH STATE OF MA STAY-AT-HOME ADVISORY

Mayor Walsh today stated that May 4 will be too early to relax any of the local or state measures in place to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

  • He acknowledged the financial hardships that people are going through and pledged to continue providing support. 

  • The City of Boston is building a recovery framework that will give us a flexible guide for short, medium and long-term recovery steps, based on data-driven public health benchmarks and including public health guidelines for how to re-open. 

  • The Mayor promised continued transparency about the reasoning and the timeline for every decision.

 

REMINDER TO SEEK MEDICAL HELP

Mayor Walsh reminded everyone that if they are feeling sick, they should call their doctor or the 3-1-1 Health Line before going to the hospital. But if they are having a medical emergency of any kind, they should call 9-1-1 immediately. 

  • That includes difficulty breathing or pain in your chest, as well as anyone facing domestic violence or abuse. 

  • The City of Boston has the capacity to treat everyone who needs care. No one should be afraid to call 9-1-1.

  • Please help us get this message to people who need it.

 

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.

 

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 

  • For Food access needs, visit our Food Resources Map or call 3-1-1

  • 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.

Read Full Post »

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