Mayor Marty Walsh held a press conference on Tuesday to discuss updates on coronavirus as well as talk about resources that are available to residents.
Walsh said that as of Tuesday, Boston had 407 new cases of COVID-19. No new deaths were reported on Tuesday, but he said that since Friday, 11 Bostonians had died from the virus,
He said that every neighborhood saw a decrease in positivity over the past two weeks, but following the Thanksgiving holiday, he said there might be some increases. He said that getting tested is important to be able to catch cases early to prevent further spread within the community.
“We’re going to be monitoring the data closely,” Walsh said. He said continuing to wash hands, wear a mask, and stay distant form others is imperative. He warned residents to be careful at work, and to self-quarantine for 14 days if they think they have been exposed to the virus.
He also mentioned that the extension on outdoor dining for public property will soon end in Boston, but exceptions can be made for extending it on private property. He said the City has to prepare for the winter and the sidewalks have to be clear.
Walsh then talked about free food resources throughout the city. He mentioned reports of food pantries “struggling” across the country to be able to provide for the growing number of people who are in need of food, but assured residents that the system is “resilient” in Boston. “They have not stopped at all,” he said, and the City continues to provide support to these organizations through the Boston Resiliency Fund.
He said that there are currently 58 active youth meal sites throughout the City where no ID is required and “children do not need to be present,” he said, adding that there are 26 “Boston Public Schools super sites” where parents and guardians can pick up three meals at once for children, and Walsh said that the City hopes to provide groceries along with the packaged meals at these sites.
He also said that more money will be added “in the coming month” to the the EBT card for BPS parents that was distributed earlier this year.
Walsh also announced that the City of Boston has received a AAA bond rating for the seventh consecutive year in a row from Moody’s Investor Service and S&P Global Ratings. He said that because of this rating, the city’s “credit is trusted as the best in its class,” which will allow the city to “invest in more of our neighborhoods than ever before,” he said.
Boston has also been named as the “city best prepared to withstand the COVID-19 recession” by the National Tax Journal and the New York Times, Walsh announced. “That’s an outstanding achievement,” he said, and thanked all who played a role.
The City can invest more money into affordable housing, new schools and libraries, open space, climate resiliency projects, bus and bike lanes, and other “infrastructure that supports the quality of life in the City of Boston,” Walsh said. He also said that for the first time ever, there will be a series of green bonds for investments in energy efficiency “and climate adaptation in our public spaces,” as well as social bonds for things like affordable housing.
For more information, visit Boston’s Investor Relations site at buybostonbonds.com. According to the City, “the website is a part of the City’s continued efforts to optimize financial disclosure and is designed to drive investment in Boston’s bonds, which help pay for capital projects and investments the City makes.”