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COVID-19 Updates Monday, March 30, 2020

Representative Jay Livingstone and Councilor Kenzie Bok published updated COVID-19 reports through their websites.
Jay Livingstone update here
Kenzie Bok’s website here

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Please see below for the most recent updates to the City of Boston’s response to COVID19. We encourage everyone to keep practicing physical distancing. This does not mean social isolation. Please be sure to check in on family, friends, and older neighbors. If you know of anyone who needs help, encourage them to call 311. We will get through this together. Stay healthy and stay safe.

Table of Contents

  • COVID19 CASES
  • STATE OF MA UPDATES
  • CITY OF BOSTON COVID19 OPERATIONS
  • ZONING BOARD OF APPEAL / LICENSING BOARD APRIL HEARINGS
  • FIRST RESPONDERS TESTING SITE AT SUFFOLK DOWNS
  • NEWTON PAVILION
  • BUOY HEALTH COVID 19 SCREENINGS
  • BOSTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS
  • BOSTON TRANSPORTATION DEPT
  • CONSTRUCTION
  • HIRING BPHC POSITIONS
  • HOW YOU CAN HELP COVID19 EFFORTS
  • STAY INFORMED

 

COVID19 CASES

The City of Boston has 477 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive) in Boston residents. So far, 40 of these 477 residents have fully recovered. There have been 2 COVID-19 related deaths in Boston residents.

The Boston Public Health Commission will be providing the updated total of cases in Boston residents as it is received from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Information can be found at boston.gov/coronavirus or bphc.org.

Massachusetts has 3,240 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive) and 35 deaths reported at this time.

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

The City of Boston also has a free texting service to provide daily updates and information about the coronavirus. Text BOSCOVID to 99411 to opt-in for English. Language and communications access remains a priority for Mayor Walsh, so this text service is also available in Spanish, Haitan Creole, French, Cabo Verdean Creole, and Portuguese.
Text BOSEspanol for Spanish
Text BOSKreyol for Haitian Kreyol
Text BOSFrancais for French
Text BOSKriolu for Cabo Verdean Creole
Text BOSPortugues for Portuguese

Updates in 10 total languages can additionally be accessed through boston.gov/coronavirus#multilingual-help. Each language has its own page and hosts multilingual print materials distributed citywide.

Arabic: boston.gov/covid-19-ar
Cabo Verdean Creole: boston.gov/covid-19-cv
Simplified Chinese: boston.gov/covid-19-zh
Spanish: boston.gov/covid-19-es
Somali: boston.gov/covid-19-so
Russian: boston.gov/covid-19-ru
Vietnamese: boston.gov/covid-19-vi
French: boston.gov/covid-19-fr
Portuguese (Brazil): boston.gov/covid-19-pt
Haitian Creole: boston.gov/covid-19-hc

STATE OF MA UPDATES

On Friday, March 27th, Governor Baker issued travel recommendations instructing all travelers entering the Commonwealth to self-quarantine for 14 days. The State is also asking people outside of Massachusetts not to travel here with the exception of first responders and front line workers. Information is being distributed at Logan Airport, South Station, truck stops, gas stations and highway signs.

Governor Baker has filed legislation to extend the MA Income Tax filing deadline from April 15 to July 15.

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

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

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

CITY OF BOSTON COVID19 OPERATIONS

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

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

The following departments have moved to by appointment only:
Registry
Parking Clerk
Age Strong
Elections
City Clerk
Assessing
Collecting
Bid counter for Public Facilities
Inspectional Services Department

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

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.

ZONING BOARD OF APPEAL / LICENSING BOARD APRIL HEARINGS

Please be advised that the following Zoning Board of Appeal April Hearings have been canceled due to the ongoing COVID19 Public Health Emergency:
April 7th, 2020 ZBA Hearing
April 16th, 2020 ZBA Subcommittee Hearing
April 28th, 2020 ZBA Hearing

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

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

FIRST RESPONDERS TESTING SITE AT SUFFOLK DOWNS

Mayor Walsh announced that the City of Boston will be opening a COVID19 testing site for Boston’s first responders at Suffolk Downs in East Boston. This testing site will serve qualified EMTs, firefighters, and police officers only. This is a joint effort between the Boston Public Health Commission and the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center. First responders will first be screened to make sure they meet the State criteria for testing. This is an important step to keep our first responders healthy. This facility will not be open to the public or media.

NEWTON PAVILION

The former Boston Medical Center hospital building known as the Newton Pavilion will be temporarily reopened and used to meet COVID-19 related medical needs of local homeless residents. Newton Pavilion is currently owned by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The facility will be operated by a consortium of providers, including Boston Medical Center, Boston Healthcare for the Homeless, shelters including the Pine Street Inn, and the City of Boston’s COVID-19 response team. The 250 hospital beds at this facility will be essential to relieving stress on our health care system and increasing medical care for our homeless population as we continue to respond to this public health crisis.

BUOY HEALTH ONLINE COVID19 SCREENINGS

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

BOSTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS:

Boston Public Schools closure has been extended to May 4th. The City of Boston, in partnership with Project Bread, YMCA of Greater Boston, Boston Centers for Youth and Families, and other community organizations, has been providing free meals to all youth and teens at various locations and times across the City. Learn more about meal distribution locations here. We have served over 100,000 meals since this program began last week, averaging 13,000 meals per day.

As part of our efforts to continue serving our students, Boston Public Schools are providing Chromebooks to students who do not have consistent access to a computer at home. Parents can fill out this application and email their school principal to receive an appointment time to pick up their student’s device to avoid creating crowds. To date we have distributed 20,724 laptops to BPS students.

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

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

BCYF Tobin at 1481 Tremont Street — 9:00 AM – 2:00 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
BCYF Madison Park at 55 Malcolm X Blvd — 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
BCYF Quincy Community Center at 885 Washington St — 9:00 AM – 2:00 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

BOSTON TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT

The following updates to parking enforcement policies are in effect until further notice in the City of Boston:

Resident Parking
Residents with a valid resident permit sticker will be allowed to park in a metered or two-hour parking space, without having to adhere to the time limit or pay a meter fee, within their specific neighborhood. For cars without the relevant resident permit parking sticker, standard time limit and meter requirements remain in place.
Street Cleaning
BTD has not been ticketing and towing for street cleaning, given challenges to finding alternative places to park in neighborhoods.
Inspection Stickers and Registration
BTD will not ticket for expired inspection stickers or registrations, given potential challenges for people to renew inspections and registrations at this time.
Parking Garages
To support the medical community, BTD has identified facilities offering free, reduced rate or reserved parking for medical professionals. To receive discounted parking, medical staff will need to present a hospital ID.To see the list of participating facilities, please visit: https://www.boston.gov/news/discounted-garages-available-hospital-staff-boston
BlueBikes
The City of Boston and its municipal partners of Brookline, Cambridge, Everett, and Somerville are offering all hospital staff a free 30-day pass for our public bike share, Bluebikes. To learn more about how to sign up for the program, visit boston.gov .
Pick Up/Drop Off Zones for Small Businesses
To help small businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19, BTD is creating temporary pick up zones in front of restaurants that have transitioned to takeout and delivery only. Takeout food pickup zones restrict parking to five minutes to increase convenience for the quick pickup and delivery of takeout food from restaurants, and provide adequate room for social distancing of six feet or more. Restaurants that would like to request a temporary pick up zone can do so on boston.gov. Requests will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

With the exception of those changes noted above, BTD will continue to enforce parking violations, with a focus on public safety violations, such as blocking a hydrant, sidewalk or handicap ramp.

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. Please see the (attached) updated temporary construction guidelines. 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.

HOW YOU CAN HELP COVID19 EFFORTS

Stay home if possible. If you must go outside, practice physical distancing from others (6 feet apart); avoid crowded places.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol; avoid shaking hands
Cover your coughs and sneezes; clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces; and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
If you think you might be sick, please call your doctor or 311 to be connected to the Mayor’s Health Line 617-534-5050.
Donate supplies to first responders here
Donate to the City of Boston Resiliency Fund here
Fill out the 2020 Census. The 2020 Census is happening now and only 16.7 percent of households have responded. The Census informs how billions of dollars in federal funds will be allocated by state, local and federal lawmakers annually for the next 10 years. It’s more critical than ever to ensure that all Bostonians are counted.

STAY INFORMED

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

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

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Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from the City of Boston:

COVID19 CASES
The City of Boston has 284 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive) in Boston residents. So far, 25 of these 284 residents have fully recovered. There have been 2 COVID-19 related deaths in Boston residents.

The Boston Public Health Commission will be providing the updated total of cases in Boston residents as it is received from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Information can be found at boston.gov/coronavirus or bphc.org.

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

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

The City of Boston also has a free texting service to provide daily updates and information about the coronavirus. Text BOSCOVID to 99411 to opt-in for English. Language and communications access remains a priority for Mayor Walsh, so this text service is also available in Spanish, Haitan Creole, French, Cabo Verdean Creole, and Portuguese.
Text BOSEspanol for Spanish
Text BOSKreyol for Haitian Kreyol
Text BOSFrancais for French
Text BOSKriolu for Cabo Verdean Creole
Text BOSPortugues for Portuguese

Updates in 10 total languages can additionally be accessed through boston.gov/coronavirus#multilingual-help. Each language has its own page and hosts multilingual print materials distributed citywide.

Arabic: boston.gov/covid-19-ar
Cabo Verdean Creole: boston.gov/covid-19-cv
Simplified Chinese: boston.gov/covid-19-zh
Spanish: boston.gov/covid-19-es
Somali: boston.gov/covid-19-so
Russian: boston.gov/covid-19-ru
Vietnamese: boston.gov/covid-19-vi
French: boston.gov/covid-19-fr
Portuguese (Brazil): boston.gov/covid-19-pt
Haitian Creole: boston.gov/covid-19-hc

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

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

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

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

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

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

$5.4 million in grants from this fund has been released to the following organizations:
Senior and Low-Income Food Providers:
The Greater Boston Food Bank which supplies and supports food pantries across the region.
Ethos which delivers Meals on Wheels to 8,000 seniors. This will allow it to serve more people.
Fresh Truck which will work with partners to deliver fresh produce to households in need.
Community Servings which provides healthy meals to critically ill people and their families.
Project Bread which is a statewide resource for people looking for food resources.
Health Care for Vulnerable Populations:
Boston Healthcare for the Homeless to assist them in screening, testing, and operating the new medical tents that we created near our shelters.
Boston Medical Center to care for patients, support staff, and sustain safe hospital operations
Pine Street Inn to increase cleaning of their facilities and work with the Boston Public Health Commission to staff quarantine sites for the homeless.

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

CITY OF BOSTON COVID19 OPERATIONS
All essential City of Boston services such as public safety, public health and maintenance operations including street cleaning, trash and recycling pick up, etc will continue to be in operation.

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

Residents are asked not to call 9-1-1 unless you are experiencing a medical emergency. All COVID-19 questions should be directed to the Mayor’s Health Line at 617-534-5050 or 311. The City and BPHC will continue to provide updated information on bphc.org and boston.gov/coronavirus.

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

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

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

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

BCYF Tobin at 1481 Tremont Street — 9:00 AM – 2:00 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
BCYF Madison Park at 55 Malcolm X Blvd — 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
BCYF Quincy Community Center at 885 Washington St — 9:00 AM – 2:00 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

GROCERY STORES AND PHARMACIES
Governor Baker issued a new order requiring grocery stores and pharmacies to observe the following COVID19 Guidelines:
Provide at least one hour per day of shopping for adults over 60-years-old.
Offer sanitation options, such as hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes, as available, to clean shopping carts and points of frequent contact.
Appropriate social distancing policies, including a marked “Social Distancing Line,” beginning six feet away from all checkout counters.
Close any self-serve food stations
Instruct store employees who are ill to stay home, and for stores to accommodate employees who fall in the high-risk category with alternative assignments to limit exposure.

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

TRANSPORTATION OFFERS FOR HEALTHCARE WORKERS

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

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

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

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

A comprehensive list of options can be found here.

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

HOW YOU CAN HELP COVID19 EFFORTS

Stay home if possible. If you must go outside, practice physical distancing from others (6 feet apart); avoid crowded places.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol; avoid shaking hands
Cover your coughs and sneezes; clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces; and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
If you think you might be sick, please call your doctor or 311 to be connected to the Mayor’s Health Line 617-534-5050.
Donate supplies to first responders here
Donate to the City of Boston Resiliency Fund here
Fill out the 2020 Census. The 2020 Census is happening now and only 16.7 percent of households have responded. The Census informs how billions of dollars in federal funds will be allocated by state, local and federal lawmakers annually for the next 10 years. It’s more critical than ever to ensure that all Bostonians are counted.

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

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Please send this important message from Rep. Livingstone.

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CORONAVIRUS: IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM MAYOR WALSH

Mayor Martin J. Walsh recently delivered a televised address to the people of Boston about the coronavirus pandemic and how we will get through this together as a City. As Bostonians, we are strong and resilient people, and in times of crisis, we show our best selves.

You can watch and read his speech here. For the latest on Boston’s planning and response to COVID-19, please visit boston.gov/coronavirus

Updates from the City:

As of March 19, 2020, there are 61 confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Boston residents. So far, 10 of these 61 residents have fully recovered. This situation is evolving rapidly and changes day to day. BPHC will be providing additional information on cases as it is received from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
All Boston Public Schools are currently closed for students until Monday, April 27, 2020, directly following April Vacation. Should the situation improve on a faster timeline than expected, Mayor Walsh and Superintendent Cassellius will look into reopening schools before April 27 if that is what is best for Boston’s school communities.

With schools closed to students, the City will continue to provide free breakfast and lunch meals for pick-up to all Boston students. View a map of meal sites for children and youth. Sites and meal times are subject to change. Please check back to confirm information before you head to the meal pickup site.
We are providing Chromebooks to BPS students who do not have consistent access to a computer at home. Families received an email with a link to fill out a request form on March 17. After filling out the form, they will receive an email and text message to schedule an appointment. Distribution of Chromebooks will take place over several days. We want to make sure the process keeps everyone safe and does not create large crowds, so BPS is scheduling appointments for at home delivery of Chromebooks. Some principals have delivered them to their students directly. We expect to have the remainder delivered by Friday, 3/27. Parents can fill out the survey at www.bostonpublicschools.org/laptop
While the City is continuing with street cleaning, we are no longer ticketing or towing for street cleaning. Other parking rules are in effect to ensure public safety (e.g. no parking in front of a hydrant or a pedestrian ramp), to ensure public access to business districts (e.g. parking meters), or to ensure parking access close to home (e.g. resident parking). We will continue to review these policies.

On March 16, the City of Boston announced that it would temporarily pause some non-essential construction in the City of Boston. This is done to stem the current public health crisis and support the health of workers in the City.
The City will, on a case-by-case basis, review requests for exceptions to the temporary construction moratorium. These may be granted by the Commissioner of Inspectional Services for building-related work or the Commissioner of Public Works for street-related work. These will be granted if they support increased public health and safety. This policy is effective as of March 17 and will be reviewed at regular intervals. New projects cannot be started at this time, unless they meet the criteria above. Any currently permitted and active construction project must be in a secure situation by Monday, March 23. This policy only applies to projects permitted by the City of Boston.

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Good Morning,

The Mayor’s Office has asked that we distribute this request to the entire membership. Please fill out the form if you are able to help!

http://bit.ly/helplitdrop

The city will be conducting a City-wide information distribution regarding COVID-19. This lit drop will include many different languages, and it is important that our residents receive the necessary information in a timely manner. This distribution will take place THIS SATURDAY only from 9 AM – 5 PM. I am looking for trusted and reliable captains who are healthy and willing that can manage material distribution to volunteers and social distancing. Additionally, volunteers can sign up for 2 hour shifts, making the process easier, but meaning that we will need more to sign up.

Please do what you can — whether you can be a captain or simply distributing the info to your networks! We are so appreciative of your work and dedication.

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COVID-19 Update for March 17th, 2020

Here are the latest COVID-19 updates as of this morning:

On Monday, March 16, Mayor Walsh announced the formation and launch of the Boston Resiliency Fund, which will coordinate the City’s fundraising and philanthropic efforts to provide essential services to Boston residents whose health and well-being are most immediately impacted by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and assist first responders and critical care providers. The Fund is being launched together with the support of a growing number of private and philanthropic partners, including the Vertex Foundation, Partners HealthCare, Jack Connors, Liberty Mutual, Gross Family Foundation, Bain Capital, John Hancock, John & Cyndy Fish, Mass Mutual and Shah Family Foundation.

As of Monday, March 16, 2020, the City of Boston has 33 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive) in Boston residents. This situation is evolving rapidly and changes day to day.

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 197 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive).

BOSTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS:
Starting Tuesday, March 17, 2020, BPS families can pick up their prepackaged student meal options at dozens of locations every weekday from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. during the BPS closure. Please be aware that some sites are subject to change. You may call 311 for the most up to date information. Learn more about meal distribution locations.

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

BCYF Tobin at 1481 Tremont Street — 9:00 AM – 2:00 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
BCYF Madison Park at 55 Malcolm X Blvd — 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
BCYF Quincy Community Center at 885 Washington St — 9:00 AM – 2:00 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

MCKINLEY SCHOOLS (SOUTH END):

On Sunday, Boston Public Schools became aware that a member of the McKinley School community was being tested for the coronavirus. We are relieved to be able to update you that this test came back negative. There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in the McKinley School community. Students can pick up their learning packets at a food distribution site closest to their home. Information about those locations is available at bostonpublicschools.org/coronavirus. Boston Public Schools will let the school community know soon when they can come pick up their belongings from McKinley Schools.

If anyone associated with the McKinley School community develops fever, cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your doctor or the Boston Public Health Commission at the Mayor’s Health Line, 617-534-5050.

LICENSED PREMISES:

The following restrictions from the City of Boston’s Licensing Board go into effect on Tuesday, March 17th, 2020.
No restaurant (with or without an alcoholic beverages license), bar, club, private club, social club, or entertainment venue may at any time allow more than twenty five (25) individuals in the licensed premise including staff.
No establishment may serve food or alcoholic beverages for on premise consumption. This effectively means a complete prohibition on the service of alcohol with the exception of retail package stores.
Establishments may only serve patrons food via take-out and delivery.
Any restriction or regulation prohibiting take-out is temporarily lifted.
Establishments must remove or rope off all seating in the licensed premise.
Establishments must abide by the CDC’s social distancing policies.
Establishments offering take-out and delivery may stay open to the closing hour currently listed on their license.
Massachusetts General Law does not allow for a Section 12 Licensee to sell alcoholic beverages to go. Any change would require emergency legislation at the state level. The Board has consulted with the ABCC and there is no plan to adopt such legislation.
Please note, the Licensing Board Hearing for Wednesday March 18th, 2020 has been canceled and indefinitely canceled going forward.

CONSTRUCTION SITES:

Effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020, We are suspending all regular activities at construction sites in Boston. Employers should maintain the necessary crews to keep their sites safe and secure, keep any materials from blowing away, and prevent trespassing. This work needs to be completed in the next week, by Monday, March 23, 2020. After sites have been secured, skeleton crews will be permitted for the remainder of this suspension to ensure safety. The only work that will be permitted moving forward will be emergency work, which will need to be approved by the City of Boston’s Inspectional Services Department.

That essential work includes:
Emergency utility, road or building work, such as gas leaks, water leaks and sinkholes;
New utility connections to occupied buildings;
Mandated building or utility work;
Work at public health facilities, healthcare facilities, shelters, including temporary shelters and other facilities that support vulnerable populations;
Work which ensures the reliability of the transportation network;
Other work necessary to render occupied residential buildings fully habitable.

In addition to the list of essential construction projects, the City will, on a case-by-case basis, review requests for exceptions to the temporary construction moratorium. These may be granted by the Commissioner of Inspectional Services for building-related work or the Commissioner of Public Works for street-related work. These will be granted if they support increased public health and safety.

This policy is effective as of March 17 and will be reviewed at regular intervals. New projects cannot be started at this time, unless they meet the criteria above. Any currently permitted and active construction project must be in a secure situation by Monday, March 23. This policy only applies to projects permitted by the City of Boston. 


BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY:

As of 6:00 p.m. Monday, March 15th, all branches of the Boston Public Library (BPL) system are closed until further notice including the central library in Copley Square. BPL will expand automatic renewals, and allow people to keep their books and other materials for an additional 15 weeks, instead of the standard three weeks.

All late fines will be waived until May 1, 2020 and library patrons will have until October to renew their library card if it is set to expire. In the coming days and weeks, BPL will increase online services, including ebooks, downloadable movies, audio books, and other information resources.

As a part of the City’s school closure plan, Chromebooks are being distributed to every BPS student who needs them. Students will be encouraged to make use of the BPL’s vast collection of resources during this time.

BOSTON CENTERS FOR YOUTH & FAMILIES:

All BCYF pools, gyms and fitness centers are closed. By this Wednesday, March 18, 2020, all BCYF programming will be suspended. Only select BCYF centers will be open for youth meal distribution during school closures. For a list of meal distribution locations, go to boston.gov/coronavirus.

BOSTON PARKS AND RECREATION:

The health and safety of park users is our top priority. City of Boston parks remain open at this time. Maintenance and operational functions continue uninterrupted. The following operation changes have been made as part of the City of Boston’s response to Coronavirus.
Although parks remain open for “passive recreation” (such as walking or jogging) at this time, park users are advised to follow the guidelines recommended by the Boston Public Health Commission:
Practice social distancing (remain at least six feet away from other people).
Wash hands, utilize hand sanitizer, and cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your inner elbow.
Limit time in public areas and avoid congregating in groups.
Stay home if you feel sick.
Park permits have been suspended through April 27, 2020.
Cultural and recreational programming has been suspended.
Community engagement forums for our planning, design, and construction activities will be postponed until a later date.
Events that are subject to the open meeting law (Parks Commission Meetings, Tree Removal Hearings) will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. There are no public meetings scheduled for March.
Please call 617-635-4505 or email parks@boston.gov if you have questions about a particular event.

The following qmeetings and events postponed until further notice:
All BTD Connect Downtown Office Hours
All BCYF events and programs
All Boston Public Library events
All Boston Parks Dept cultural and recreational programming
Mayor Walsh’s Youth and Jobs Resource Fair 3/28/2020
To protect Bostonians and their families from the spread of the virus, residents are reminded to practice caution: wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol; avoid shaking hands; cover your coughs and sneezes; clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces; and avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you think you might be sick, please call your doctor or 311 to be connected to the Mayor’s Health Line. Residents are also reminded to practice social distancing: keep your distance from others (6 feet apart); avoid crowded places.

Residents are asked to not call 9-1-1 unless you are experiencing a medical emergency. All COVID-19 questions should be directed to Mayor’s Health Line at 617-534-5050 or 311. The City and BPHC will continue to provide updated information on bphc.org and boston.gov/coronavirus.

We will continue to keep you informed as we continue to receive updates.

Thanks,
Shanice

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Dear Members and Friends:

We want to make sure you have information but respect that the community is receiving multiple updates about COVID-19 developments.

Today’s update from Liaison Shanice Pimentel is below, with important information about the public health emergency declaration, BPS news (including meal distribution programs), and policies on bars, restaurants, and clubs, as well as moratoriums on evictions and information for businesses.

After Tuesday, until further notice, we will be posting COVID-19 updates directly to the http://www.fenwaycivic.org website.

If you have any concerns or questions, please reach out to us at fenwaycivic@aol.com and we will do our best to find you support.

———————————————————————————————————————

Good afternoon Fenway,

We have a COVID-19 Update from the City as of March 16th:

Mayor Walsh declared a public health emergency in the City of Boston on Sunday, March 15

The Mayor’s declaration of a Public Health Emergency is a progressive step in line with the Boston Public Health Commission’s COVID-19 Response Plan that allows BPHC the authority to increase the availability of staff and resources, enhance reporting, information and resource sharing among Boston’s health and medical community.

The City of Boston has 29 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive) in Boston residents.

The Boston Public Health Commission will be providing the updated total of cases in Boston residents as it is received from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Information can be found at boston.gov/coronavirus or bphc.org.

Massachusetts has 164 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive).

On Sunday, March 15th, Governor Baker announced the closing of all elementary and secondary schools in the Commonwealth from March 17-April 6th, banned All gatherings of 25 people, restricted nursing home visitations and ordered hospitals to postpone elective surgeries.

On Saturday, March 14th, Governor Baker announced the COVID-19 Response Command Center, which will be led by HHS Secretary Marylou Sudders. The Command Center will have complete authority and discretion to tap whatever state funds are necessary. This includes the $15 million recently appropriated by the Legislature for coronavirus.

The State is taking steps to speed up testing. The 1st change is that clinicians no longer need to receive testing approval from the state lab prior to submitting specimens for patients that meet particular criteria. The 2nd change is that clinicians can submit a single swab, rather than the previous two swabs. That will speed up the testing capability at the state lab.

BOSTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS:

A reminder that all Boston Public Schools (with the exception of the Elliot and McKinley Schools) will be open on Monday, March 16th to allow the flexibility needed to ensure a smooth transition that will allow for parents to plan, students to gather belongings, and the distribution of any learning materials that are ready for use at home. We will be providing Chromebooks to every student who needs one, which comes with learning resources and technical support. Starting Tuesday, March 17, 2020, BPS families can pick up their prepackaged student meal options at dozens of locations every weekday from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. during the BPS closure. Learn more about meal distribution locations here. More info about BPS Coronavirus response here.

Meal Distribution sites serving BPS families near Mission Hill, Fenway, and Downtown-area include the following:

Tobin Center BCYF at 1481 Tremont Street — 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Boston Latin School at 205 Townsend Street — 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
YMCA at 316 Huntington Ave — 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Blackstone Elementary at 380 Shawmut Ave — 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Quincy BCYF at 885 Washington Street — 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

MCKINLEY SCHOOLS (SOUTH END):

On Sunday, Boston Public Schools became aware that a member of the McKinley School community was being tested for the coronavirus. We are relieved to be able to update you that this test came back negative. However, out of an abundance of caution, all three McKinley Schools will be closed Monday, March 16. There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in the McKinley School community, but our top priority is to keep you safe and informed. Students can pick up their learning packets at a food distribution site closest to their home. Information about those locations is available at bostonpublicschools.org/coronavirus. Boston Public Schools will let the school community know soon when they can come pick up their belongings.

If anyone associated with the McKinley School community develops fever, cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your doctor or the Boston Public Health Commission at the Mayor’s Health Line, 617-534-5050.

BARS, RESTAURANTS, BARROOMS AND CLUBS:

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has banned on-premises consumption of food or drink at bars and restaurants from March 17 to April 6. This includes all premises with a CV license including coffee shops and pizza places. Establishments can continue to offer take-out, drive-thru, and delivery options to customers.

For any restaurant or bar room that serves food, The City of Boston is lifting regulations so that all of these restaurants and bar rooms are allowed to offer take out. We encourage the use of delivery services. If you do not currently utilize a delivery service, the Office of Small Business can help you. Contact 311 if you need to be connected to them. Any restaurant that would like to donate food or assist residents in need may reach out the Office of Food Access via 311.

MORATORIUM ON EVICTIONS:

The Mayor announced a partnership to impose a moratorium on eviction proceedings to protect Boston residents. This was announced with the Greater Boston Real Estate Board and its entity the Massachusetts Apartment Association, and the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations. Housing stability is crucial at this time and we are working to minimize the disruptions to residents during this challenging time. Property owners are encouraged to implement a moratorium on evictions that could be in effect for 90 days, with reviews every 30 days.

This follows action the City took on Thursday, March 12 with the Boston Housing Authority to urge housing courts to reconsider non-essential evictions of residents. In addition, the Boston Housing Authority is moving to immediately suspend its filing and prosecution of all Housing Court cases and matters with respect to its non-essential eviction actions. This includes cases where the health and safety of others is not part of the suit. It also includes all non-payment, no-fault cases, and cause-related cases.

FOR EMPLOYERS:

The Mayor encourages all businesses to not just be looking at their large events, but looking internally at their operations like sick leave, unemployment insurance and cleaning protocols.

The City is continuing to reach out to our partners in State and Federal government and we encourage you to reach out to our Office of Economic Development if you are a business that is facing difficulties due to recent cancellations or otherwise. We want to hear from you so we can start a conversation about what we can do to help. Please help us by sharing your experience via this survey.

Residents are asked not to call 9-1-1 for COVID-19 testing unless you are experiencing a medical emergency. All COVID-19 questions should be directed to Mayor’s Health Line at 617-534-5050 or 311. The City and BPHC will continue to provide updated information on bphc.org and boston.gov/coronavirus.

We will continue to keep you informed as we continue to receive updates.

Thanks,

Shanice

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Dear Members and Friends:

We are writing with a few cancellations and information about the rapidly evolving coronavirus disease 2019/COVID-19 situation in the city.

1. Symphony Park Chair Yoga Pop-Up party and Thursday classes:
To minimize exposure risk, chair yoga classes at Morville House, including the Pop-Up event on March 19th will be canceled until further notice.

2. Love, Fenway gala at Fenway Community Center:
The FCCs annual gala is being postponed to a later date, and several changes to the center’s schedule have been made.
To read more about Fenway Community Center’s policies during the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak, visit: https://fenwaycommunitycenter.org/

3. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19):
We hope members will stay informed about developments with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The City’s website will be updated regularly at: https://www.boston.gov/news/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-boston, and contains a number of resources, fact sheets, and other information.
We encourage residents and members to follow guidance provided by the city and state.

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