BOSTON (CBS) — Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is asking private businesses do their part to help medical workers during the coronavirus. He gave reporters an update Friday afternoon, hours after the first Massachusetts coronavirus-related death was reported in Suffolk County.

“It’s a very sad situation and, quite honestly, it’s a reminder of what’s at stake,” he said.

The mayor asked construction companies with masks and respirators to donate them to the City so that healthcare professionals can use them.

“I want to make an appeal today to all the building sites and construction companies and anyone who uses protective equipment,” he said. “We are looking for masks; we are looking for respirators.”

To donate masks or respirators, Walsh said, companies should call 617-635-4500.

“The most important use for that equipment is to make sure that we get it in the hands of our medical professionals who are saving lives,” he said.

Mayor Walsh updates the city of Boston on coronavirus efforts Friday. (WBZ-TV)

Additionally, Walsh said the City had reached agreements with private garages to reserve parking spaces for healthcare workers and offer them reduced pricing.

“Many of our medical staff are concerned about public transportation and having difficulty parking, so we reached out to commercial parking garages,” he said. “In response about a dozen have agreed to reserves spaces and lower their rates for medical staff.”

Walsh also said Blue Bikes, a company that allows riders to rent bikes around the city, is offering free 30-day passes for healthcare professionals.

As of Thursday afternoon, there were 413 cases of coronavirus in Massachusetts.

The mayor also asked rental and broker companies to forgo any open houses and not show any occupied properties in person if at all possible. He suggested the use of virtual tours, photo and video instead.




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