On Saturday at noon, the City deployed seven Boston Public Works trucks with sound equipment to broadcast a message about COVID-19: stay home as much as you can, wash your hands often, cover your face when out, and keep your distance from others.
The message was broadcast in seven languages, depending on the community, including: English, Spanish, Haitian Creole, Vietnamese, Arabic, Somali, and Cabo Verdean Creole.
“This weekend we are launching new tactics to get the message out in the places that we know are hardest hit,” said Mayor Walsh on Saturday morning. “We need everyone to know that we are in a public health emergency and we need everyone to do their part. We also continue to work on expanding access to testing for our residents, because every community deserves full access to the level of testing and communication that meets the needs they have.”
The trucks will be deployed to the neighborhoods that have COVID-19 rates higher than the rest of Boston, including Hyde Park, Mattapan, Dorchester, East Boston, Roxbury and Roslindale. According to the latest data from the Boston Public Health Commission, Hyde Park had 413 reported cases of COVID-19, Mattapan had 298, Dorchester had 1,274, East Boston had 410, Roxbury had 335, and Roslindale had 302.
The City is phone banking essential small businesses and will be providing posters in multiple languages that ask customers to cover their faces and practice distancing. The City is also putting up on street signs and other infrastructure.
During the weekend of March 21, a thousand City of Boston employees and volunteers delivered printed information on COVID-19 to all homes in Boston. The pamphlet outlined details about the virus, a list of preventative measures to mitigate the spread, and a compilation of city resources, including food access sites, in: English, Spanish, Haitian Creole, Chinese, Vietnamese, Cabo Verdean Creole and Russian. The City has been delivering literature in multiple languages to essential businesses.
Residents who have questions are encouraged to call 311 to be connected with a telephonic interpreter, or through the Mayor’s Health Line at (617) 534-5050. Updates in 10 languages can additionally be accessed through boston.gov/coronavirus#multilingual-help.