BOSTON (CBS) — Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said there is no way the city will reopen non-essential businesses on May 4, as the state’s current emergency order says. Boston has 8,159 confirmed coronavirus cases.
“I have serious concerns if we start relaxing some of the measures we’ve taken in Boston and across the Commonwealth on May 4, especially if it’s done without clear and thoughtful plan,” Walsh said Monday. “There is no question that May 4 is too early.”
He said the city is working to analyze data and see what protocols need to be put in place that would allow residents to stay safe.
“We’re currently building a recovery framework in the city of Boston that will give us a guide for short, medium, and long term recovery. This will need to be a plan that can be adapted as quickly as the virus can change on a situation. We will need to include public health interventions to ensure the spread is minimized until a vaccine or treatment is ready.”
WBZ-TV’s Kristina Rex reports
Walsh said the goal is to prevent further spikes of the coronavirus and “reduce both health and economic inequalities during recovery efforts.”
“We can’t afford to make any mistakes.”
There are currently 15 coronavirus testing sites in Boston. Last week, testing was increased by 30%.
On Sunday, the city announced a partnership with Massachusetts General Hospital that would test 1,000 random volunteers for coronavirus antibodies. The tests will focus on residents in East Boston, Roslindale, and people who live in the boundaries of the 02121 and 02125 zip codes in Dorchester.
“These neighborhoods reflect the diversity of our city and will give us important information about how different populations are being impacted,” said Walsh.
“Antibody testing helps us see how many people have already recovered from the virus. Testing in our community will give us a better idea of how widespread the outbreak really was and is in Boston. The data will help us estimate how many people will likely be infected. It will help us plan to use our resources in a smart way. It will also help us target the areas that are most vulnerable and as scientists learn more about immunity from the past infections, antibody testing could help us identify who has a lower risk of contracting the COVID-19 in the future. This is all useful information as we think about staffing frontline workers in long term recovery plans.”
Walsh said antibody testing will be expanding in the coming weeks.
The mayor also reminded residents that continued social distancing and frequent handwashing is needed.
“We are still in the peak of the outbreak here in Boston. Every single precaution you take today, maybe be one that saves someone’s life,” said Walsh. “We can’t let our guard down now for one minute. This is a very critical point in the outbreak.”