BOSTON (CBS) – Mayor Marty Walsh announced that all construction projects in Boston will be suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic. All branches of Boston Public Library will also be closed starting Monday at 6 p.m.
There are currently 33 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Boston, and Walsh said that number is expected to climb.
“The coronavirus is one of the greatest public health challenges our city has ever faced,” said Walsh.
Walsh said the city will assess in 14 days if construction projects can resume. The only projects that can go forward will be emergency work.
The mayor said it was a difficult decision because of the current state of construction in the city.
“We’re in the middle of a boom right now and this is a decision that today — today was a difficult decision to make, just like all the other decisions we’ve made on the days we’ve made the decision. They were difficult and then a few days go by and you realize it wasn’t really that difficult,” said Walsh. “Construction is at the core of our economy here in Boston. Clearly I come out of the trades, I was a construction worker myself. This is something [that] is very personal to me and to a lot of us.”
Boston Public Schools are closed starting Tuesday. Students were able to stop at schools on Monday to get supplies.
“This is a critical time for us right now to prevent the spread,” Walsh said.
Health officials stressed during a Monday press conference that anyone who is not feeling well should not go to the hospital. They should instead contact their primary physician.
Walsh also announced the establishment of the Boston Resiliency Fund. The fund is aimed to provide “essential services to Boston residents most affected by the coronavirus.”
“As we deal with the immediate business of keeping people healthy and safe in Boston, we’ve also been preparing for our long-term recovery efforts,” said Walsh. “There is no doubt that the coronavirus will have long-term impacts on our community. That’s why we’re also developing a comprehensive plan to help local families recover in the weeks and months ahead.”