BOSTON (CBS) – Mayor Marty Walsh said the city is increasing stay-at-home measures after a recent surge of coronavirus cases in Boston. All residents are now being asked to cover their faces every time they leave home, and a recommended curfew is being put into place.
Walsh said there are now 1,877 cases of coronavirus in Boston, an increase of 259 positive tests in the last day. There were two additional deaths, bringing the city total to 15.
In the last 48 hours there has been an increase of 511 cases. That means 27 percent of Boston’s coronavirus positive tests have come in the last 48 hours.
“That’s what a surge looks like. And we are still at the beginning of the surge,” said Walsh. “What the data continues to show is that every single day is critical to saving lives in our city.”
As a result, Walsh said the city is increasing its stay-at-home guidelines. Beginning on Monday, a recommended curfew will be in place and people are asked to stay inside from 9 p.m.-6 a.m.
Walsh also said that while residents do not need to wear medical-grade masks, they should cover their faces every time they leave the house. People can use things like bandanas or cloth to cover their mouth and nose.
The mayor stressed to spend as little time outside as possible. “You’re not there to browse for extra items in the supermarket, you’re not there to socialize, you’re there to get what you need and get home.”
He added, “For the next couple of weeks, instead of taking walks, we ask you if you could exercise inside your home just to keep you safe.”
When Walsh completed his press conference, he placed a mask over his face as he left the podium.
All city sports facilities will now be closed as well, though parks remain open. Walsh said too many people were still congregating for sports at parks.
“It’s not normal for me to get up here and scare the people of Boston as the mayor. But this is not a normal situation. This is a moment we need people’s attention,” said Walsh, noting that 45 percent of cases in the city are people under 40 years old.
Boston resident Brian Crompton said, “I don’t think anything is too extreme right now. I think if the data suggests that that will help keep our health care workers safe, keep the public safe, and slow this thing down, we should do it.”
Brent Whelan is worried about going stir-crazy at home and said while a mask is a little uncomfortable, “if [Mayor Walsh] tells me I have to, I’ll wear it.”