Boston sees highest single-day total of new coronavirus cases since spring

Marty+Walsh+speaks+to+reporters+after+casting+a+vote+for+Presidential+Candidate+Joe+Biden+at+The+Lower+Mills+branch+of+The+Boston+Public+Library+on+November+3%2C+2020.

Photo: Jakob Menendez

Marty Walsh speaks to reporters after casting a vote for Presidential Candidate Joe Biden at The Lower Mills branch of The Boston Public Library on November 3, 2020.

By Frankie Rowley, Assistant News Editor

Wednesday’s spike in new COVID-19 cases was the largest Boston has seen in a single day since spring, Mayor Martin J. Walsh reported in a press conference on Thursday. 

Walsh, delivering a COVID-19 brief at Faneuil Hall, stated the city saw 634 new cases and five new deaths on Wednesday. 

“I want to just reiterate the numbers continue to grow in the wrong direction here in Boston when it comes to coronavirus,” Walsh said. “Yesterday’s cases were the highest one-day case [spike] since the spring.”

Walsh also stated that the city’s hospitalization numbers are soaring, with hospital capacity shrinking.

“Our hospitalization numbers are getting higher as well, higher than we’d like them to be,” Walsh said. “93 percent of all adult non-surgical ICU beds are occupied, the highest since May.” 

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President-elect Joe Biden’s announced Walsh as his pick for labor secretary on Thursday afternoon. Walsh previously led Boston’s Building and Construction Trades Council for two years prior to becoming Mayor in 2013. Walsh is expected to assist Biden in creating stronger protections for workers and raising their pay, according to the New York Times. 

Walsh urged continued vigilance from residents of Boston to do their part in stopping the spread of the virus. 

“We need everyone to continue to do your part,” Walsh said. “We can’t say it and I can’t say it enough. The majority of us have not been vaccinated yet. Wearing a mask, physical, social distancing, washing hands, avoiding gatherings, getting tested all remain essential to preventing the spread of this virus.”

Walsh also touched on the city’s decision to push back its reopening another three weeks, which was announced in a Tuesday morning brief. He stated that it was “an effort to slow the spread and protect hospital capacity and avoid a more severe shutdown later.”

Walsh warned the city could instate new restrictions if the number of COVID cases continued to rise. 

Governor Charlie Baker also addressed the state in regards to the rise in COVID cases today in a brief. He announced the state would continue to employ the statewide gathering and capacity restrictions that were announced on Dec. 26 for an additional two weeks, until Jan. 24. 

Baker noted that the state recognizes the challenges imposed on businesses, especially smaller businesses, by the restrictions, but highlighted the need to continue the rollback. 

“We need to stay in this game a little longer, especially during this crucial period, to stop the spread of the virus and build the bridge to vaccines,” Baker said. 

Baker also gave an update on the state’s vaccine distribution, announcing that 329,000 doses of vaccines had been shipped to health-care providers and 154,132 doses had been administered. He also stated that 280 of 383 nursing homes have received the vaccine and first responders will receive them starting Jan. 11.

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