Tuesday, March 24, 2020

COVID 19 Update From Our South Boston Liaison

As of Monday, March 23, 2020, the City of Boston has 133 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive) in Boston residents. So far, 15 of these 133 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 777 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive). 

The City of Boston has launched a new, free texting service to provide daily updates and information about the coronavirus. Stay in the know and text BOSCOVID to 99411 to opt-in. 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 BOSFracais 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. 

On Monday, March 23, Governor Baker issued an emergency order requiring 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 also 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. 

On Saturday, March 21, 1000 volunteers distributed pamphlets with information about the coronavirus to homes across the City in an effort to reach all households. Our main priority was to reach seniors, residents with language access needs and particularly those who may not have access to the internet. This pamphlet and an additional four languages are available online at boston.gov/coronavirus.

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.

The City of Boston, in partnership with Project Bread, YMCA of Greater Boston, Boston Centers for Youth and Families, and other community organizations, will provide 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.

We encourage you to find the State of Massachusetts full list of “COVID-19 Essential Services”  here.

Restaurants, bars, and other establishments that sell food and beverage products to the public are encouraged to continue to offer food for take-out and by delivery if they follow the social distancing protocols set forth in Department of Public Health guidance. On-premises consumption of food or drink is prohibited.  The Licensing Board for the City of Boston has provided an advisory regarding the status of the prohibition of on-premise consumption of food and alcohol, the limitation on cacacity, and the closure of non-essential businesses. This Advisory is mandatory and applies to both licensees holding a common victualler food only license and those holding a common victualler with alcoholic beverages license. Any failure to adhere to the Order or the Advisory will result in disciplinary action by the Board which may include, but not be limited to, the immediate suspension of the license.

The Office of Small business has put out a 2nd survey to help us identify ways to support small businesses through this crisis. Please give us your feedback here

The City of Boston has launched a website for residents to find local restaurants that remain open for take-out and delivery service during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. If your business is open for delivery and want to let the public know, be sure to sign up on Support Boston Restaurants

The Boston Transportation Dept. is creating temporary pick up zones in front of restaurants that have transitioned to takeout only or businesses that have increased delivery needs. If you would like to request a take-out/delivery zone in front of your business, please visit Boston.gov/takeout-zones

Please visit boston.gov/small-business and click on the COVID-19 updates for additional info. You can email smallbiz@boston.gov or call the Mayor’s Hotline at 311.

We recently updated Boston.gov/recovery with online recovery support resources. If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use, you can call 311 (or (617) 635-4500) to access recovery services.

  1. Stay home if possible. If you must go outside, practice physical distancing from others (6 feet apart); avoid crowded places.
  2. 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
  3. Cover your coughs and sneezes; clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces; and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  4. 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.
  5. Donate supplies to first responders here
  6. Donate to the City of Boston Resiliency Fund here
  7. 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. 
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.

If you would like to receive COVID19 updates directly, please email me.

Thank you,

Haley Dillon

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