BOSTON – Tuesday, February 8, 2022 – With the city and the region experiencing significant reductions in COVID-19 hospitalizations, expanded ICU capacity, and a decreased community positivity rate since the height of the Omicron surge, Mayor Michelle Wu today announced metrics that the Boston Public Health Commission and City of Boston will use to determine when to lift the City’s B Together vaccination requirement, which requires patrons and staff of certain indoor spaces to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19.
“The data makes clear that Boston’s policies to boost vaccination and public health have been working, and we are coming down from the recent Omicron-driven surge,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “I’m encouraged by the current trends and grateful to the Boston Public Health Commission and all our partners for strong leadership to keep us heading in the right direction. The fastest way to help ensure we are relieving pressure on hospital capacity and driving down community positivity is to keep closing gaps with vaccination and boosters.”
Since early in the pandemic, the Boston Public Health Commission has continuously tracked many different metrics to guide the city’s response. Today, Mayor Wu announced that the current proof of vaccination requirement would be lifted when the following conditions are met:
• Fewer than 95% of ICU beds are occupied
• Fewer than 200 COVID-19 hospitalizations per day
• A community positivity rate below 5%, as defined by the Boston Public Health Commission’s 7-day moving average
The Boston Public Health Commission will have the ability to restore the vaccination requirement in the event of future surges, guided by its ongoing review of COVID-19 metrics and other emerging public health information.
“The B Together initiative is helping us slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect Bostonians during this surge. We have matched this proactive public health policy with equitable access to vaccines, and because of this multilayered approach, I am optimistic about where our city is headed during this pandemic,” said Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, Commissioner of Public Health and Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission. “The City of Boston’s COVID-19 response has always been driven by science and data, and we will remain ready to adjust our strategy, guidance, and requirements as needed to keep everyone safe.”
B Together currently applies to patrons and staff of indoor restaurants, bars, nightclubs, gyms, and entertainment facilities (those picking up takeout orders and other quick visits are exempt). A full list of businesses that fall under the B Together policy can be found here
The City has made providing proof of vaccination as easy and accessible as possible. To enter one of the establishments included in the policy, individuals can show a CDC vaccination card, a photo of the card, the B Together app
, or any other COVID-19 vaccine verification app, including the Massachusetts digital vaccine card
. The free B Together app is available through both the Apple Store and Google Play.
The City has been working with businesses on implementation practices since B Together was announced. Before the launch of the policy, the City hosted four B Together webinars focused on answering questions from small business owners. Roughly 150 – 200 people joined each session, and more than 800 registered for the webinars overall.
“We appreciate our small businesses for their resilience and for continuing to stay engaged with our office as we rolled out the B Together mandate,” said Segun Idowu, Chief of Economic Opportunity and Inclusion. “As we monitor the public health metrics and see the numbers improve, it is our priority to lift the mandate in the safest and most effective manner possible.”
The City of Boston and the Boston Public Health Commission continue to support easily accessible walk-in vaccination clinics across the city, including at many community centers, schools, and community health centers. A full list of vaccination sites, including walk-in facilities, can be found here.