Acting Mayor Kim Janey announced on Monday that Boston will “align” with the state’s decision to eliminate all COVID restrictions, including the mask mandate on May 29. Masks are still required by all residents—vaccinated or not—on public transportation and in places like healthcare facilities,
“As mayor, I have led a COVID-19 response that is driven by data,” she said. She said that the city is “creating equitable vaccine access in our city with a four-part approach,” by using mass vaccination clinics, community health centers, targeted clinics, and mobile units.
“Let me be clear,” Janey said. “Our battle against COVID-19 is not over. I want to congratulate the more than 391,000 Boston residents who have been vaccinated with at least one shot.”
She said that Boston is now “doubling down on our efforts to make vaccines more equitable in Boston,” as “there is more work to do,” especially in the areas of the city hit hardest by the pandemic.
She said that “today, I’m doubling our city’s investment in the vaccine equity grant initiative,” which will now include $3 million in grants for organizations working to spread awareness about the vaccine.
Janey said that it’s “easier than ever” to get a vaccine in Boston, with appointments readily available and many sites offering walk in appointments.
“We are proving that vaccines and masks work,” Janey said.
“We’ve been fighting COVID-19 for over a year,” she continued. “After so many long months of sacrifice and fear, vaccines give us the chance to create a safer, more hopeful future.”
Boston’s Chief of Health and Human Services Marty Martinez said that as of May 11, the city has been seeing an average of 63 daily cases, which amounts to a positivity rate of 2.1 percent.
He said that no neighborhood in the city has a positivity rate over 4.3 percent, and there are fewer than 65 Boston residents hospitalized with COVID-19.
“It is clear that vaccines are working,” Martinez said.
He said that the vaccines, along with the other efforts put forth by residents and businesses in the city are “greatly decreasing the spread of the virus,” and “we must double down on those efforts.”
He said it is likely that more than 300,000 Boston residents have been fully vaccinated at thispoint, but the vaccination rates in communities of color are behind those of white residents.
“We need to continue our on the ground outreach and mobilization,” Martinez said, “to ensure there’s access and awareness of its importance, and that all barriers are broken down to ensure our hardest hit communities get vaccinated.”
“The city will continue our equitable approach to vaccines to ensure that we can keep making progress” he added, “in every neighborhood and every community.”