3.9 min readBy Published On: April 23rd, 2020Categories: News0 Comments on Recap of Mayor Marty Walsh’s April 22nd press briefing

Did you miss the mayor’s press briefing on Wednesday? Don’t worry! You can still be informed. Here’s a recap of the facts, information and data shared during the COVID-19 press briefing on April 22nd.

Importance of social distancing:

  • The Mayor stressed that efforts by the City and residents are making a difference to flatten the curve, conserve medical resources, and reduce infections.

  • He said that Boston still has not yet reached its peak in cases, so these steps are more critical than ever. He urged people to continue staying home whenever possible, practicing social distancing, wearing face coverings, washing hands, and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces regularly.

  • He reminded residents to wear face coverings in common areas of apartment buildings, and especially while riding buses and trains. This is crucial in order to protect MBTA drivers and other employees, who put their own health and safety on the line every day.

The City of Boston is asking City and community leaders, local organizations, and non-profit partners to push this message out to their networks.

Extension of school building closures:

  • Mayor Walsh expressed support for the Governor’s decision to keep school buildings closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.

  • The City of Boston has been preparing for the likelihood of this happening. BPS has been making plans to expand at-home learning opportunities, and will be sharing more information about this next phase of remote learning after April vacation.

  • The City is continuing to operate meal pick-up sites and providing Chromebooks and WiFi hotspots. Every day, the city is distributing thousands of free meals at 65 locations across the City, and making home deliveries for students with severe special needs. These services are continuing right now, throughout April school vacation week, and for as long as it takes. Information about all these resources is available at Boston.gov/coronavirus.

  • Emergency childcare programs, including nearly 40 in Boston, will continue to operate for first responders and other essential workers. You can find the list at Boston.gov/emergencychildcare.

High school seniors:

  • The Mayor offered a message of support to graduating high school seniors. He acknowledged how difficult it is to miss out on prom, senior week, spring sports and arts programs, and in-person graduation ceremonies.

  • He congratulated these students for all they have accomplished, and reminded them that their city is very proud of them.

Expanding access to testing:

  • The Mayor reiterated that before any discussions of reopening schools and businesses can happen, there needs to be a clear public health criteria for what steps should be taken, and when. The City is developing such parameters.

  • A fundamental requirement for making progress in public health is a significant increase in testing.

  • The City continues to expand testing access throughout Boston’s neighborhoods. The Testing Access Map is available at bphc.org.

  • The City of Boston will be full partners in the State’s contact tracing initiative and has begun to support that work at health centers in Boston.

  • Mayor Walsh urges the Federal government to make testing a priority.

Boston Resiliency Fund:

  • Mayor Walsh announced the fourth round of funding through the Boston Resiliency Fund.

  • $1.7 million in funds will be distributed to support 21 organizations in Boston.

  • This round will support: community health centers, veterans, individuals experiencing homelessness, neighborhoods experiencing higher case rates, and Boston’s Muslim community during Ramadan, which starts tomorrow. It will also go towards personal protective equipment for frontline and essential workers.

  • So far, including this newest round, the fund has distributed $13.8 million to 135 organizations. To date, more than 4,200 donors have contributed over $26 million to the fund.

Contributions of immigrant communities

  • The Mayor closed by reiterating his support for immigrants in Boston and across America.

  • He stressed that immigrants need and deserve support right now. They are on the frontlines fighting the coronavirus: they are health aides, nurses, physicians and surgeons, and they are essential to our food service industry.

  • In Boston, 46% of accommodation and food workers are foreign-born, with close to 25% of undocumented population working in this industry.

  • Immigrants make up nearly 26% of Boston’s workforce–and are 35% of health care workers, 40% of construction workers, and 41% of hospitality workers.

  • Mayor Walsh stressed that the region’s economy depends on immigrants and that he continues to stand with our immigrant communities.

  • Making sure our immigrant workforce is healthy and financially stable during this pandemic will help our economic recovery efforts happen more quickly.

  • He also wished a blessed Ramadan to Boston’s Muslim community.

As the Mayor mentioned during his press briefing, he released a video on how to make your own face covering on Twitter today.

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