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Sunday, March 15, 2020

波市公衛進入緊急狀態 所有餐館客容量必須減半 門外不可排隊

波士頓市長馬丁華殊(Martin Walsh)率市府員工宣佈公共衛生緊急狀態。
(周菊子攝)

(Boston Orange 周菊子波士頓報導) 波士頓市長馬丁華殊(Martin J. Walsh)(15)日下午3點宣佈,波市進入公共衛生緊急狀態,所有酒吧,餐館必須減少一半客容量,晚上11點前須關門,門外不許排隊,以在新型冠狀病毒流行期間,確保人與人之間有安全的社交距離。
凡違反規定的餐館,將罰關門30天。
馬丁華殊表示,為縮減50%的客容量,有些餐廳可能得把桌子,椅子搬開。
這一規定將不適用於外賣店。他說,在目前的公共衛生緊急情況中,任何食肆,甚至那些沒有許可的,都將被准許提供外賣服務。沒有外賣服務的餐館,可以和市府接洽,要求協助。
啤酒花園也將關閉,直到公共衛生緊急狀況解除為止。
馬丁華殊說,宣佈進入公共衛生緊急狀態,將給波士頓公共衛生局權力來增加員工及資源,提高波士頓衛生機構之間的報告和資源分享。
截至週日,波士頓居民共有29人感染病毒。麻州的感染病毒人數也上調至164人,比昨日多了26人。
在聖派翠克日遊行取消,麻州宣佈進入緊急狀態之際,南波士頓已有14家餐廳宣佈,週日將關門不營業。
新型冠狀病毒(COVID-19)在全美引發的恐慌,州市政府的規勸人們留在家中,大公司安排員工遠距上班等情況,已使越來越多餐館生意慘淡,難以為繼,boston.com今日刊列歇業餐管名單,已有30餘家,實際數目應遠不只此。
據本刊所知,劍橋市已有一家中餐館預定下週暫時歇業,並將遣散部分員工。波士頓市華埠也也一家中餐館決定歇業,將來視情況決定復業,再探問那些員工願意回去服務。


MAYOR WALSH ANNOUNCES PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY IN BOSTON, DETAILS FOR BOSTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS, RESTRICTIONS FOR RESTAURANTS, BARS AND CLUBS

BOSTON - Sunday, March 15, 2020 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the Boston Public Health Commission is declaring a public health emergency in the City of Boston, due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This step allows BPHC to increase the availability of staff and resources that will allow for enhanced reporting, information and resources shared among Boston's health and medical community. 

The declaration is an essential step to respond to and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the health and well-being of Boston's residents. This response to the COVID-19 pandemic requires an all hands on deck approach and calls for heightened coordination across BPHC's bureaus and programs, city departments and health care partners. Declared public health emergencies can aid cities in seeking additional resources and support from the state and federal government. Within the Boston Public Health Commission, the declaration allows for internal personnel and resources to be redirected towards the response effort. For more information on the City's public health crisis declaration, please visit here

"The health and safety of each and every Boston resident is our first priority. At this point, we are undoubtedly experiencing a public health emergency in the City of Boston, and it is clear that we need to activate every tool at our disposal," said Mayor Walsh. "We started to work on this public health declaration the moment we decided to close Boston Public Schools to ensure that we can activate and deploy all the public health resources and personnel necessary to meet the needs of our students, residents and anyone in our community facing challenges during this quickly changing situation." 

Following the declaration of a public health emergency, Mayor Walsh also shared the following updates and announced new regulations for restaurants, bars and clubs:

BOSTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Mayor Walsh and Boston Public Schools (BPS) Superintendent Brenda Cassellius today announced details on the City's planning efforts to ensure that essential services and supports for students remain available when schools close districtwide on Tuesday, March 17. Those essential services include making food available to the 72 percent of BPS students who rely on the free meals served in Boston's public schools. Beginning on Tuesday, families can pick up a variety of packaged meal options at 47 different locations across Boston, every weekday from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Additionally, the City of Boston in partnership with Project Bread, YMCA of Greater Boston, Boston Centers for Youth and Families, and other community organizations will also be providing free meals to school-aged children at various locations and times across the city. 

"The Boston Public Schools is committed to meeting the needs of the community we serve, and that is especially true during times of uncertainty. With all hands on deck we are addressing this emergency head on," said BPS Superintendent Brenda Cassellius. "Nothing is more important than keeping our students, staff and families safe. We will continue to support our community by providing resources and materials for home learning, access to free meals, and timely updates on this unprecedented situation as it evolves."

 "We prioritize the safety and well-being of our students, staff and families above all else," said Boston School Committee Chairperson Michael Loconto. "This period of closure is in the best interest of everyone in the community. We remain focused on keeping our youth engaged in their learning and look forward to welcoming students back to school as soon as the situation permits." 

In addition, the plan addresses the continuation of student learning outside of school facilities to ensure that there is no gap in students' education. Educational resources will be set up with Google Classroom, an online platform that all students in the Boston Public Schools system use, and where students and families can find materials and work independently on activities at home. While this learning work is voluntary and will not be graded, students and families are encouraged to use the system to help prevent lost learning time that could occur during an extended time away from school. 

"BPS students are incredibly resilient and we have to do whatever we can to keep ourselves, our friends and our families safe," said Boston School Committee Student Representative Evelyn Reyes. "The Boston Student Advisory Council looks forward to working with BPS to address student concerns and find creative ways to keep students involved in their school communities during this period."

The learning plan addresses the need for students to receive no-cost options for Internet and access to computers. Already, many internet service providers, including Comcast, have offered discounted or no-cost options that are available to students and families. To supplement the need for additional computers, BPS has purchased an additional 20,000 Chromebook laptops to make sure that every student in need of a device will have access to one. Distribution sites will be set up throughout the city for students in the coming days. 

*All McKinley Schools will be closed tomorrow, following the news that a member of the McKinley School community is currently being tested for COVID-19. At this time, there are no confirmed cases at the school, but BPS' top priority is to keep school communities safe and informed. All other schools, with the exception of the Eliot and McKinley schools, will be open tomorrow, Monday, March 16 during regular school hours. All BPS buses have been cleaned and disinfected and will run on normal schedules tomorrow.

LICENSED ESTABLISHMENTS 

Effective immediately, the Licensing Board for the City of Boston is requiring all restaurants (both establishments with a common victualler license and common victualler with alcoholic beverages license), bar rooms and night clubs in the city to reduce overall capacity by 50 percent, remove tables and chairs to reflect that reduced capacity, and follow the guidelines around social distancing. All licensed establishments will not be allowed to have lines outside, and hours across the board will be reduced to close at 11:00 p.m. Food drive through and delivery services may continue during an establishment's normal business hours. If any of these new regulations are violated, the licensed establishment will be shut down for 30 days. As a reminder, Governor Baker last week issued an emergency order prohibiting most gatherings over 250 people in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.

For any restaurant or bar room that serves food, the Board is lifting regulations to allow for take out service, which means that all restaurants and bar rooms that serve food can now provide take out service. The Board encourages the use of delivery services wherever possible. If an establishment does not currently utilize a delivery service, the City's Office of Small Business can help support. Any establishment looking to be connected with help may contact 311, and if any business that needs operational support can contact the Inspectional Services Department

As of today, beer gardens will not be opening until the declared public health emergency is over. All of these revised regulations included above will be in effect until the Licensing Board issues a notice that they are lifted. 

The Licensing Board has been working closely with licensed establishments in South Boston regarding the influx of patrons due to the St. Patrick's Day holiday and the ongoing public safety concerns regarding the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Based on the number of patrons in the area on Saturday, March 14 and health and safety concerns, over a dozen establishments have agreed to voluntarily close today, Sunday, March 15, 2020. 

To protect Bostonians and their families from the spread of the virus, residents are reminded to practice caution: 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. Residents are also reminded to practice social distancing: keep your distance from others (six feet apart); avoid crowded places. 

Residents are asked to not call 9-1-1 unless you are experiencing a medical emergency. The City and BPHC will continue to provide updated information on bphc.org and boston.gov/coronavirus


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