For the second week in a row, the downtown neighborhood residents reported only a handful of coronavirus weekly cases. There were four new cases this week (versus five last week) reported in the Downtown, North End, Beacon Hill, and Back Bay neighborhoods, according to the Boston Public Health Commission’s weekly report through June 11th. The total number of cases for the downtown neighborhoods stands at 463, a rate of 83.1 per 10,000 residents.
Citywide, there were 211 new positive cases reported this week with 13,143 total positive cases, according to Boston’s COVID-19 case tracking dashboard. The total number of deaths stand at 677 with 17 new deaths this week. In the City, approximately 61% of coronavirus patients have recovered.
Boston’s Emergency Departments (ED) reported that 1.8% of all ED visits were for COVID-19-like illness (CLI). This is down from 2.8% the prior week.
The North End Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center no longer has any residents with COVID-19. One staff member continues to remain in quarantine. The facility is offering limited visitation, requiring visitors to properly socially distance and wear face coverings.
Mayor Marty Walsh declared racism as a public health crisis on Friday afternoon. The news comes after pushes from the City Council to address the racial health disparities that have been illuminated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The health impacts of historic and systemic racism are clear in our COVID-19 case numbers and the impacts go far beyond the current crisis. So we’ll be backing this declaration with an initial investment of $3 million that’s gonna be transferred from the police overtime budget to the Boston Public Health Commission,” stated Mayor Walsh, revealing that he has requested the City Council to approve 20% of the police overtime fund be reallocated into community services.
On Monday, June 8th, Boston entered Phase II of its reopening plan, allowing outdoor dining at restaurants and retail businesses to open with limited capacity. The North End restaurants were given a rainy start after Mayor Walsh delayed their reopening to Thursday, June 11th due to the density of the neighborhood’s restaurants. Officials posted signs in front of various North End restaurants to designate the City-owned parking areas as “Cafe Zones.”
Indoor dining service will be allowed during the second part of Phase II, which has yet to be announced. However, the reopening guidelines have put an emphasis on utilizing outdoor dining as the primary means of operation. Bars have been moved to Phase IV of the City’s reopening plan, joining nightclubs and dance clubs, according to the state’s list of when businesses can reopen.
Mayor Walsh announced that Boston would be reopening playgrounds and splash pads on Monday, June 15th. Athletic fields and tennis courts have already reopened for no-contact activities only. The Boston Centers for Youth and Families have been modifying their youth program for July but has yet released any details about this summer’s offerings.
The City recently unveiled their pilot program, “BPL To Go”, to allow some Boston Public Library branches to open for pick-up on June 22nd. Library cardholders and e-cardholders will be able to place a hold on books, DVDs, and CDs to be picked up at one of the five locations participating in the pilot program. The nearest participating branch to the North End will be the Central Library in Copley Square.
Following an apparent resurgence in coronavirus cases across the country, Governor Charlie Baker addressed concerns about a second surge in Massachusetts. He expressed the unlikelihood of that happening, pointing to Massachusetts’s rigorous protocols that employers and businesses must abide by to avoid undue risk of contraction. The state has also been aiming at enhanced testing across the Commonwealth that works alongside its tracing program.
“We’re going to be very vigilant on this,” said Governor Baker during a press conference on Thursday afternoon.
Massachusetts currently has 105,059 total positive cases according to the most recent data with 100, 811 being confirmed positive cases and 4,248 being probable cases. There were 2,502 new COVID-19 cases reported with 487 of those being probable cases. Approximately 14.6% of all tests have returned with a positive result. There have been 7,538 total deaths. There were 303 new deaths this week with 18 from probable coronavirus cases.