4.9 min readBy Published On: April 27th, 2020Categories: News0 Comments on Recap of Mayor Walsh’s Press Briefing on April 27th

Did you miss the mayor’s press briefing on Monday? Don’t worry! You can still be informed. Here’s a recap of the facts, information and data shared during the COVID-19 press briefing on April 27th.

Case numbers:

  • Massachusetts: 54,938 cases and 2,899 deaths (as of Sunday, April 26).

  • Boston: 8,421 cases, 315 deaths, 1,724 recoveries (as of Monday, April 27).

  • The Mayor shared a story about an older gentleman who had been hospitalized at MGH with COVID-19. He proposed to his partner from his hospital bed, and the team at City Hall rushed to get them their marriage license. They were able to spend a few days together before he passed away last Saturday.

  • The Mayor urged everyone to take time to reflect on those we have lost, and to send love and support to people mourning loved ones.

Moment of silence for Bobby Joe Leaster:

  • The Mayor opened his press conference by honoring Bobby Joe Leaster, a streetworker at BCYF who passed away yesterday.

  • For almost 30 years, he mentored young people, helping them build confidence and find purpose. He was a trusted adult to many young people who had major challenges in their lives, and connected system-involved and gang-involved youth with jobs and education.

  • A few weeks ago, he was caught in a house fire and, despite heroic efforts by the Boston Fire Department and healthcare professionals, yesterday he passed away due to burns sustained. The Mayor expressed his deepest condolences to Bobby Joe’s family, friends, fellow streetworkers, and the BCYF community.

Update on BPS remote learning:

  • The next phase of learning from home starts on Monday, May 4. Families will receive additional information from the Superintendent later this week about attendance, grading, and schedules.

  • Schools will be creating individualized learning plans for students with the highest needs, to make sure no one falls behind. These expectations may continue to evolve as the City gets further guidance from the State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and the US Department of Education.

  • The Mayor reiterated the City’s efforts to support remote learning, including setting up more than 2,000 wifi hotspots, distributing more than 30,000 laptops, and serving free breakfast and lunch every single weekday to youth and children at 65 locations. To date, the City has served more than half a million meals at youth meal sites. The City also operates six adult meal sites for grab-and-go meals. A map of Boston’s food resources can be found here.

  • The City is also focused on students’ social and emotional health. Going forward, every school will have a Student Support Team to monitor students’ well-being, engagement, and progress.

  • The City will continue to share more details about our plans for the Boston Public Schools throughout this week.

Antibody testing initiative:

  • Today, the City is launching an antibody testing initiative.

  • In partnership with Mass General Hospital, the City will test 1,000 residents of East Boston, Roslindale and the 02121 and 02125 zip codes of Dorchester. These neighborhoods reflect the diversity of our City and will give us important information about how different populations are being impacted.

  • Residents who agree to participate will be tested for both the COVID-19 virus and COVID-19 antibodies. This information should help the City understand and contain the virus more effectively, and chart the path to recovery.

  • Regular testing detects the presence of the virus and shows whether someone is currently infected. Antibody testing helps show how many people have already recovered from the virus.

  • Testing in the community will give a better idea of how widespread the outbreak really is in Boston, and give an estimate of how many more people will likely be infected. It will help the City plan and use resources in a smart way, and target areas that are the most vulnerable.

  • The Mayor gave an overview of the City’s expanded testing efforts, including:

    • Setting up 15 testing sites across Boston’s neighborhoods.

    • Creating a map which shows the locations, hours, and contact information for all testing sites in Boston.

    • Collecting and and sharing data on testing, including race, ethnicity, and neighborhood information.

    • Increasing testing by over 30% in the last week, with increases as big as 57% in some areas.

    • And doing universal testing for our homeless population after securing 1,000 additional tests last week.

Reminder to seek medical help:

  • The Mayor reminded everyone that if they are feeling sick, they should call their doctor or the 3-1-1 Health Line before going to the hospital. But if they are having a medical emergency of any kind, they should call 9-1-1 immediately.

  • That includes difficulty breathing or pain in your chest, as well as anyone facing domestic violence or abuse. The City has the capacity to treat everyone who needs care. No one should be afraid to call 9-1-1.

  • The Mayor asked for everyone’s help in getting that message to people who need it.

Comments on the upcoming May 4 expiration of the state’s stay-at-home advisory and emergency order closing non-essential businesses:

  • The Mayor stated that May 4 will be too early to relax any of the local or state measures in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.

  • He acknowledged the financial hardships that people are going through and pledged to continue providing support.

  • The City is building a recovery framework that will give us a flexible guide for short, medium and long-term recovery steps, based on data-driven public health benchmarks and including public health guidelines for how to re-open.

  • He promised continued transparency about the reasoning and the timeline for every decision.

General social distancing reminder:

  • The City of Boston is still experiencing a surge in cases. Please continue to stay home whenever possible, practice distancing and wear face coverings outside the house, wash your hands, and clean and disinfect surfaces.

  • The City of Boston is asking City and community leaders, local organizations, and non-profit partners to push this message out to their networks.

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