City of Boston Update 11.2.20

Update #47
















The City of Boston has 19,986 positive cases of coronavirus. So far, 17,279 of these 19,986 residents have fully recovered. Unfortunately, there have been 778 COVID-19 related deaths in Boston. 


The City posts race and ethnicity data for deaths, as well as for confirmed cases here.


The Boston Public Health Commission will be providing the updated total of cases in Boston residents as it is received from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Information can be found at or


Massachusetts has 150,498 positive cases of coronavirus and 9,700 deaths reported at this time. 




  • Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the City of Boston is launching “Get The Test Boston,” a pledge designed to encourage residents to get a COVID-19 test. 

  • As part of this pledge, local businesses including the Boston Red Sox, Boston Main Streets, Rapid7, UNITE HERE Local 26, and Wayfair have committed to signing onto the pledge, and ensuring their employees know how and when to get tested for COVID-19. 

  • To better increase access to testing for City of Boston employees, Mayor Walsh today also announced the City of Boston will be offering benefit-eligible City employees one paid hour every 14 days to get tested during their normal work hours. Employees will receive regular compensation for their time spent testing, and will not be required to utilize their sick or personal time for one hour of testing.

  • The City of Boston is encouraging all residents to consider getting tested for COVID-19, regardless of symptoms. Residents should get tested if they:

    • Are experiencing COVID-like symptoms, like fever, cough, or shortness of breath, among others

    • Are at high risk for complications from COVID-19 

    • Have been in contact with someone who is infected with COVID-19 

    • Have traveled or been in large gatherings 

  • The City of Boston offers free, asymptomatic testing available at its two mobile sites, currently in Central Square in East Boston, and Nubian Square in Roxbury. As announced by Mayor Walsh in May, these mobile sites change every few weeks to help fill any gaps in testing availability, prioritizing neighborhoods and populations that need dedicated testing efforts to create equitable access to testing. 

  • Other neighborhood testing sites have varying policies regarding the availability of testing for those showing no symptoms and insurance coverage. Because of this, residents are encouraged to call ahead via their listed contact numbers on the website to check their availability, and policies on asymptomatic testing and insurance coverage. Together, Boston now has over 30 active testing sites across the city. Residents can find them on Boston’s testing map online. Residents who live near neighboring municipalities can also find a list of testing throughout the Commonwealth online

  • Mayor Walsh is encouraging businesses and employers throughout Boston to join the City in increasing access to testing, by making sure their employees know when to get tested, how to get tested, and have access to the resources they need to take care of their own and their communities’ collective public health. 

  • Businesses can take the pledge to #GetTheTestBoston, and provide the resources employees need to get tested, stop the spread of COVID-19, and avoid a setback in Boston’s reopening process. The City also encourages individuals to take the pledge to demonstrate their commitment to stopping the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.



  • Early, in-person voting continues through Friday, October 30. 

  • The City has 17 drop boxes that will be available to deposit mail-in ballots through 8 pm on November 3rd.

  • Keep in mind, per a state directive:

    • On Halloween, dropboxes will be emptied and locked from 5 pm Saturday until Sunday morning, due to security concerns.

    • So if you plan to use a drop box this weekend, do it on Saturday morning or Sunday.

  • For in person voting, every site is COVID safe and is wheelchair accessible, with an AutoMark machine for those with low vision or limited dexterity. Visit to learn more. 




  • The City released guidance on celebrating Halloween safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, urging residents who choose to celebrate Halloween to take extra precautions to keep themselves and others safe. Health officials have advised that many traditional activities, such as trick-or-treating, costume parties or crowded, confined spaces like haunted houses, raise the risk of spreading viruses.

  • Tips for safe trick-or-treating:

    • Trick-or-treat only with immediate family members

    • Avoid direct contact with individuals passing out candy.

    • Wash hands before handling treats.

    • Wear a mask. A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask.

    • Stay at least 6 feet away from others who do not live with you.

    • Bring hand sanitizer with you and use it after touching objects or other people.

  • Tips to safely prepare for trick-or-treaters:

    • Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters. 

    • Wash hands before handling treats

    • Set up a station outdoors with individually wrapped goodie bags for trick-or-treaters.

    • Wear a mask. A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask

    • Stay at least 6 feet away from others who do not live with you.

  • BPHC health officials encourage families to find safer, alternative or virtual ways to have fun this season. The safest celebrations involve people from your household, are outdoors, allow for social distancing and other safety measures. In addition, BPHC is urging adults not to participate in gatherings or parties on Halloween.

  • Halloween activities without risk:

    • Carving or decorating pumpkins

    • Decorating your home

    • A virtual Halloween costume contest

    • A family Halloween movie night

    • A trick-or-treat scavenger hunt at home

    • A Halloween neighborhood scavenger hunt from a distance

  • Halloween activities with risk:

    • Traditional trick-or-treating

    • Trunk-or-treat events

    • Haunted houses

    • Hayrides or tractor rides

    • Fall festivals

    • Halloween parties or celebrations

  • Any Halloween activities should comply with COVID-19 safety guidelines and participants should limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19 by following these safety tips:

    • Wear a face covering. A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth or paper mask. Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it could make it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.

    • Stay at least six feet apart.

    • Avoid large parties or gatherings.

    • Avoid crowded areas

    • Wash your hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating candy

    • Avoid touching your face.

  • Keep in mind, if any Halloween activities may lead to screaming, make sure everyone is wearing a face covering and staying more than six feet apart. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.

  • If residents may have COVID-19 or may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, stay home and do not participate in in-person Halloween festivities. Residents who may have COVID-19, who are not feeling well, or have been exposed to the virus should not give out candy to trick-or-treaters.

  • As a reminder, any Halloween activities are subject to the current gathering size limits set by the City of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

  • Read more on the Halloween activity guidance released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.




  • Boston Public Schools (BPS) announced that due to a rising COVID-19 infection rate in the city, and in support of efforts to contain the spread, all students will shift to remote learning effective Thursday, October 22.

  • That includes high-needs students who have been in school since October 1. 

  • Preventing another surge is top priority. We understand the impact it will have on our highest-need students. 

    • We are talking to SpEd parents today and Superintendent Cassellius and her team are working on a plan to provide services.

    • We will continue our food deliveries and food pickup sites for every single family, every single day. 

  • On reopening schools: We remain committed to an in-person learning option for our students as soon as it is safe to do so and public health guidance allows it. And we are committed to prioritizing students with the highest needs. 

  • To do that safely, we will follow the data benchmarks set out by our public health experts:

    • Once the citywide 7-day positivity rate is at or below 5% for 2 consecutive weeks, we will begin to welcome our students with the highest needs back for in-person learning. 

    • When the 7-day rate is at or below 4% for 2 consecutive weeks, we will restart the in-person phase-in, starting with the youngest grades.

    • And we will continue to offer families the choice of full remote. 

  • BPS will provide updates to plans as soon as they develop. In addition, schools will work with families who may need to pick up technology or other personal items students may have left at school. The district is exploring options for providing services for our students with complex disabilities and will update families with more information in the coming days.




  • FOR SENIORS: We’re asking them to take the precautions that keep them safe, by staying home as much as possible. The City has resources to help them.

    • We can get them access to food and medication deliveries — and also care and connection to help overcome loneliness. 

    • We also help seniors pay for home repairs — our Seniors Save program has 80 projects underway.

  • FOR ANYONE STRUGGLING WITH HOUSING: The Rental Relief Fund is open again, with $5 million available to help pay rent. If you are a tenant who needs Rental Relief or a landlord who wants to learn more, visit And if you are a homeowner concerned about paying your mortgage, reach out to your lender as soon as possible to find out what flexibility they offer. You can also check in with the Boston Home Center

  • FOR SMALL BUSINESS: So far we’ve distributed over $9 million in relief and reopening funds, and we still have grants available. Reach out to our Small Business Office by emailing

    • SimpliSafe has worked with the City to donate 250 security systems and 12 months of professional monitoring for small businesses in the City of Boston. 

  • FOR OUR MOST VULNERABLE RESIDENTS: This week, we are investing in community organizations that are caring for neighbors in Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan, the South End, Chinatown, and Charlestown.

  • The work includes:

    • A free COVID-19 testing site in Grove Hall at the Prince Hall Grand Lodge on Washington Street. 

    • The work of churches in the Black Ministerial Alliance to provide food and basic needs to seniors and families in the community.

    • And the work of the Asian American Civic Association to help seniors and the disabled. 

  • In total now we have brought $28.4M into our communities.  




On Tuesday, October 20, Mayor Walsh and the Offices of Health and Human Services and Public Safety announced the availability of $1,000,000 in grant funding through the 2021 Youth Development Fund to support and increase youth development and violence prevention programming. With this funding, the City of Boston is targeting two priority areas: youth violence prevention programming and a continuum of support to fill gaps in existing programming. Up to 25 nonprofits will be selected to receive funding and awards will vary in size up to $100,000, with $75,000 of the funds reserved to be awarded for the 2021 summer. Applications for grant funding are now open, and responses are due by Monday, November 9, 2020 at 5 p.m.


Also, the Boston Police Department has extended the deadline for the 2021 Shannon Community Safety Initiative Grant Program. In its thirteenth year of operation, funded by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, the Shannon Community Safety Initiative Grant Program incorporates key elements of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Comprehensive Gang Model. Grant funds support regional and multi-disciplinary approaches to combat gang and youth violence through prevention and intervention programming, education and workforce development, youth police dialogues, restorative justice, and reintegration programs. Find the application and details here.



As part of the forthcoming update to the City of Boston’s Open Space Plan, the Boston Parks and Recreation Department is undertaking a Parcel Priority Plan to identify and evaluate lands in the city that should be protected. Creating new open space and protecting existing open space will depend on practical concerns and available resources. Tell the Boston Parks and Recreation Department where you’d like to see open space in your neighborhood. The Parcel Priority Plan virtual open house and survey, can be found at




The 2016 Climate Ready Boston report assessed Boston’s climate projections and vulnerabilities climate change and recommended city-wide strategies for reducing vulnerability to sea-level rise, more extreme heat, and more intense precipitation. The report identified Downtown Boston, North End, and Dorchester as vulnerable neighborhoods to sea level rise, coastal flooding, and extreme heat. 


Climate Ready Boston is the City’s initiative to prepare Boston short- and long-term impacts of climate change. Today Mayor Walsh  announced coastal resilience solutions for Downtown/North End and Dorchester, outlining transformative plans to protect our homes, businesses, and communities from coastal flooding and sea-level rise. These plans will help create a healthy, resilient Boston for years to come. Find the plans for Downtown/North End and Dorchester here




On Wednesday, October 28, the Boston Athletic Association postponed next year’s Boston Marathon until Fall 2021, at the earliest.




  • Learn more about the reopening process:

  • When going outside, wear a face covering, practice physical distancing from others (6 feet apart), and avoid mass  gatherings.

  • Anyone experiencing a medical emergency should call 911. 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol; avoid shaking hands

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes; clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces; and avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • If you think you might be sick, please call your doctor or 311 to be connected to the Mayor’s Health Line 617-534-5050. Buoy Health has created a free online diagnostic tool which screens for COVID19 at

  • Donate supplies to first responders here.

  • Donate to the City of Boston Resiliency Fund here.

  • Volunteer with the City of Boston

Please stay safe!

Shanice Pimentel

Neighborhood Coordinator and Constituency Liaison for

Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Fenway, Kenmore, and Mission Hill

Mayor Martin J. Walsh

Office of Neighborhood Services


Click here to view all City Public Notices.

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