UPDATE, Monday March 16 10:50pm

On Monday, March 16, Mayor Walsh announced the formation and launch of the Boston Resiliency Fund, which will coordinate the City's fundraising and philanthropic efforts to provide essential services to Boston residents whose health and well-being are most immediately impacted by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and assist first responders and critical care providers. The Fund is being launched together with the support of a growing number of private and philanthropic partners, including the Vertex Foundation, Partners HealthCare, Jack Connors, Liberty Mutual, Gross Family Foundation, Bain Capital, John Hancock, John & Cyndy Fish, Mass Mutual and Shah Family Foundation.

As of Monday, March 16, 2020, the City of Boston has 33 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive) in Boston residents. This situation is evolving rapidly and changes day to day. 

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 197 positive cases of coronavirus (confirmed and presumptive).  
 
BOSTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS:
Starting Tuesday, March 17, 2020, BPS families can pick up their prepackaged student meal options at dozens of locations every weekday from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. during the BPS closure. Please be aware that some sites are subject to change. You may call 311 for the most up to date information. Learn more about meal distribution locations.

Meal Distribution sites near the South End, Bay Village and Lower Roxbury include the following:

YMCA at Wang — 8 Oak St 8am-12pm
BCYF Quincy Community Center — 885 Washington St 9am-2pm
Blackstone Elementary School — 380 Shawmut Ave 8:30am-11:30am
Vibrant Boston Community Center at Lenox/Camden —136 Lenox St  8am-12pm
YMCA at Huntington Ave — 316 Huntington Ave 8am-12pm


MCKINLEY SCHOOLS (SOUTH END):

On Sunday, Boston Public Schools became aware that a member of the McKinley School community was being tested for the coronavirus. We are relieved to be able to update you that this test came back negative. There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in the McKinley School community. Students can pick up their learning packets at a food distribution site closest to their home. Information about those locations is available at bostonpublicschools.org/coronavirus. Boston Public Schools will let the school community know soon when they can come pick up their belongings from McKinley Schools. 


LICENSED PREMISES: 
 
The following restrictions from the City of Boston’s Licensing Board go into effect on Tuesday, March 17th, 2020. 

  • No restaurant (with or without an alcoholic beverages license), bar, club, private club, social club, or entertainment venue may at any time allow more than twenty five (25) individuals in the licensed premise including staff. 
  • No establishment may serve food or alcoholic beverages for on premise consumption. This effectively means a complete prohibition on the service of alcohol with the exception of retail package stores.
  • Establishments may only serve patrons food via take-out and delivery. 
  • Any restriction or regulation prohibiting take-out is temporarily lifted.
  • Establishments must remove or rope off all seating in the licensed premise. 
  • Establishments must abide by the CDC's social distancing policies. 
  • Establishments offering take-out and delivery may stay open to the closing hour currently listed on their license. 
  • Massachusetts General Law does not allow for a Section 12 Licensee to sell alcoholic beverages to go. Any change would require emergency legislation at the state level. The Board has consulted with the ABCC and there is no plan to adopt such legislation. 
Please note, the Licensing Board Hearing for Wednesday March 18th, 2020 has been canceled and indefinitely canceled going forward.
 
CONSTRUCTION SITES:

Effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020, We are suspending all regular activities at construction sites in Boston. Employers should maintain the necessary crews to keep their sites safe and secure, keep any materials from blowing away, and prevent trespassing. This work needs to be completed in the next week, by Monday, March 23, 2020. After sites have been secured, skeleton crews will be permitted for the remainder of this suspension to ensure safety. The only work that will be permitted moving forward will be emergency work, which will need to be approved by the City of Boston's Inspectional Services Department. 

That essential work includes:
  • Emergency utility, road or building work, such as gas leaks, water leaks and sinkholes;
  • New utility connections to occupied buildings; 
  • Mandated building or utility work;
  • Work at public health facilities, healthcare facilities, shelters, including temporary shelters and other facilities that support vulnerable populations; 
  • Work which ensures the reliability of the transportation network; 
  • Other work necessary to render occupied residential buildings fully habitable.

In addition to the list of essential construction projects, the City will, on a case-by-case basis, review requests for exceptions to the temporary construction moratorium.  These may be granted by the Commissioner of Inspectional Services for building-related work or the Commissioner of Public Works for street-related work. These will be granted if they support increased public health and safety.  

This policy is effective as of March 17 and will be reviewed at regular intervals. New projects cannot be started at this time, unless they meet the criteria above.  Any currently permitted and active construction project must be in a secure situation by Monday, March 23. This policy only applies to projects permitted by the City of Boston.  


BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY:

As of 6:00 p.m. Monday, March 15th, all branches of the Boston Public Library (BPL) system are closed until further notice including the central library in Copley Square. BPL will expand automatic renewals, and allow people to keep their books and other materials for an additional 15 weeks, instead of the standard three weeks. 

All late fines will be waived until May 1, 2020 and library patrons will have until October to renew their library card if it is set to expire. In the coming days and weeks, BPL will increase online services, including ebooks, downloadable movies, audio books, and other information resources.

As a part of the City's school closure plan, Chromebooks are being distributed to every BPS student who needs them. Students will be encouraged to make use of the BPL's vast collection of resources during this time.

BOSTON CENTERS FOR YOUTH & FAMILIES:


All BCYF pools, gyms and fitness centers are closed. By this Wednesday, March 18, 2020, all BCYF programming will be suspended. Only select BCYF centers will be open for youth meal distribution during school closures. For a list of meal distribution locations, go to boston.gov/coronavirus.

BOSTON PARKS AND RECREATION: 

The health and safety of park users is our top priority. City of Boston parks remain open at this time. Maintenance and operational functions continue uninterrupted. The following operation changes have been made as part of the City of Boston's response to Coronavirus.

  • Although parks remain open for "passive recreation" (such as walking or jogging) at this time, park users are advised to follow the guidelines recommended by the Boston Public Health Commission:
    • Practice social distancing (remain at least six feet away from other people).
    • Wash hands, utilize hand sanitizer, and cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your inner elbow.
    • Limit time in public areas and avoid congregating in groups.
    • Stay home if you feel sick.
  • Park permits have been suspended through April 27, 2020.
  • Cultural and recreational programming has been suspended. 
  • Community engagement forums for our planning, design, and construction activities will be postponed until a later date.
  • Events that are subject to the open meeting law (Parks Commission Meetings, Tree Removal Hearings) will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. There are no public meetings scheduled for March.
Please call 617-635-4505 or email parks@boston.gov if you have questions about a particular event.


South End and Bay Village meetings and events postponed until further notice:

  • South End Landmark District Commission Hearing 3/17/2020 
  • All BTD Connect Downtown Office Hours 
  • All BTD Tremont Design open houses and meetings
  • BPDA South End Urban Renewal Public Meeting 3/17/2020
  • BPDA BU Medical Campus Task Force Meeting 3/19/2020
  • BTD Tremont St Design Open House 3/21/2020
  • All BCYF events and programs 
  • All Boston Public Library events
  • All Boston Parks Dept cultural and recreational programming 
  • Mayor Walsh’s Youth and Jobs Resource Fair 3/28/2020

To protect Bostonians and their families from the spread of the virus, residents are reminded to practice caution: 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; cover your coughs and sneezes; clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces; and avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you think you might be sick, please call your doctor or 311 to be connected to the Mayor's Health Line. Residents are also reminded to practice social distancing: keep your distance from others (6 feet apart); avoid crowded places. 

Residents are asked to not call 9-1-1 unless you are experiencing a medical emergency. All COVID-19 questions should be directed to 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

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