Boston extending reopening rollback by three weeks

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Photo: Jakob

Marty Walsh poses for a portrait outside the Lower Mills Branch of the Boston Public Library on November 3, 2020 while waiting to cast a vote for Presidential Candidate Joe Biden.

By Frankie Rowley, Assistant News Editor

Boston will continue on with its rolled back reopening until Jan. 27, three weeks later than scheduled, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced at a press conference at Faneuil Hall on Tuesday.

The city has been in phase two of its reopening plan since Dec. 14. The regression from phase three to phase two shut down many indoor spaces, such as gyms, museums, event spaces, and recreational venues like bowling alleys. The city also implemented a new capacity limit on social gatherings, with indoor gatherings capped at 10 people, and outdoor gatherings at 25.

The initial rollback was set to expire on Wednesday, but due to the surging cases throughout Boston and the rest of the state following the holidays, Mayor Walsh decided to postpone the reopening.

“We have to start to see a decline in our daily cases,” Walsh said during a Tuesday afternoon press conference. “We’ve seen a pretty steady rising of the numbers every single day for … almost two months now. We are getting to a point where it’s getting very dangerous.”

The city has reported over 41,000 confirmed COVID cases and 1,020 deaths as of Monday, according to the city’s website. The seven-day average of active cases in the city has not dipped below 6,000 since mid-December.

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The announcement follows Governor Baker’s recent declaration that over 70,000 staff at Massachusetts hospitals have received the vaccine. The vaccine rollout to first responders is set to expand on Jan. 11

The rest of the state continues to be in step one of phase three after Governor Charlie Baker announced his plan to halt moving into step two on Dec. 8. Governor Baker’s decision also instituted new limits of capacity levels on indoor and outdoor gatherings.

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