Featured Health & Environment

Boston Public Schools Plan for Reopening [COVID-19 Weekly Update]

There were fifteen new cases this week in the Downtown, North End, Beacon Hill, and Back Bay neighborhoods, according to the Boston Public Health Commission’s weekly report through August 13th. The total number of cases for the downtown neighborhoods stand at 550, a rate of 98.7 per 10,000 residents. Visits to the Emergency Department for COVID-19-like-illness decreased slightly from 2.4% to 2.3%.

The City of Boston currently has 14,750 reported cases with 304 new cases this week according to Boston’s COVID-19 tracking dashboardThe City reported two new deaths this week with the total number of deaths standing at 743.

According to the state’s new weekly reporting on case counts in each city/town, Boston was shown to have an average daily incidence rate of 6 per 100,000 residents over a 14-day period.

“I certainly understand as well, because we all do, people wanting to get together. People want to go out. Families want to celebrate milestones. These are human needs and many people, quite honestly, are frustrated with where we are in society today with the coronavirus, but we have to be clear, it’s not time right now to let up. This virus is still here and very much present and that’s our reality,” stated Mayor Marty Walsh during his Wednesday press conference, reminding people to socialize in a safe way to minimize risks.

Boston Public Schools (BPS) are carefully considering their options for reopening, and have ruled out in-person learning for now. Mayor Walsh stated that the City has provided BPS with plexiglass and vinyl separators to protect students and staff. He also outlined the City’s plan to conduct inspections prior to allowing schools to reopen.

“We will either be starting with a hybrid model or a period of all remote learning,” said Mayor Walsh, stating that officials are preparing to expand technology and internet access.

Other school reopening protocols have involved ensuring that nurses’ rooms are properly ventilated with isolated areas for the sick, HVACs are working and have new filters, classrooms are properly ventilated with at least one window able to be open, sanitation stations are installed at entryways and exits, and social distancing signage are placed.

The City has also purchased electrostatic sprayers for each school in order to properly disinfect classrooms and other high-traffic areas.

“The spring was a crisis response,” stated Mayor Walsh. “This fall will be more planned and more supported.”

Massachusetts currently has 113,729 total confirmed positive cases, according to the most recent dataThere were 1,876 new COVID-19 cases reported this week. There have been 8,582 total deaths.