Mayor Marty Walsh held a press conference on October 15, where he continued to warn residents of the dangers of COVID-19 and the importance of following the guidelines set forth by the city and state.
“We are looking to strengthen COVID restrictions,” he said. With the continued reports of parties and other large gatherings that are contributing to increased cases in the city, Walsh said he is looking at “efforts to tighten enforcement and gathering limits” as well as “unsanctioned activities.”
He said that there are a total of 30 testing sites in the city. To find one, visit boston.gov/coronavirus.
“I urge anyone and everyone; if you have been out of the house at a gathering or at all concerned about exposure, get a test,” Walsh said.
He said the city is continuing to help restaurants abide by the guidelines, specifically regarding physical distancing, masks, and table size.
Walsh also said he is paying “special attention to house parties that are putting people at risk,” adding that he has spoken with several elected officials who had concerns. “We are tracing locations where house parties continue to happen,” Walsh said, and the city is working with the Inspectional Services Department to help restrict these gatherings. He also said he is “working with different agencies” on a fine for parties, possibly for both the landlord and the tenant for rentals.
He said that “roughly half” of the city’s most recent new cases of COVID-19 were in people under the age of 30. He urged party-goers to think about everyone they come in contact with at a party, and everyone they will come in contact with after the party.
“We need to take this virus seriously,” Walsh said. He warned that if “we don’t do what we need to do and start to take responsibility as individuals…” he could shut down the city again.
“Not going to a party is a small sacrifice to pay for later on down the road for larger gain,” he said, adding that people can one day attend parties and large group events again.
But “right now, we’re at a very critical point with coronavirus,” he said. “We can’t get this virus under control without everyone’s cooperation.”
Walsh also talked about early voting, which began on October 17 in Boston. There are 27 early voting locations throughout the city, and residents can also vote by mail. He said the city has received “more than 130,000 requests for mail in ballots,” and reminded residents that the last day to request a ballot is October 28.
Ballots can either be mailed back, dropped at an early voting location, or dropped at one of the 17 drop boxes located throughout the city. For more information on voting and voting locations, visit boston.gov/election.
Walsh also talked about the new fall drive-in movie series, following the “success” of the summer drive in-move series. He said admission is free, but registration is required. The movies will be shown in the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center parking lot. For a full list of dates and movies, as well as to register, visit boston.gov/driveinmovies.
Additionally, the Parks Department will be hosting a virtual pumpkin carving contest, where winners will be chosen from three different categories, and the winners will receive an iPad from Xfinity. Photos can be submitted up to and including October 31. For more information, visit boston.gov/pumpkins.