Boston Mayor Marty Walsh spoke to the city Monday night from Government Center in a special address regarding COVID-19 where he reassured residents that officials were not considering a shelter-in-place order — like the one issued in the Bay Area of California — as of yet.
"We are not currently at that point," he assured residents. "But we are monitoring the situation closely.
"Ultimately, we will do what's best for the people of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts," he said.
The sentiment echoed assurances made by Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday, who also sought to quash rumors of a shelter-in-place order.
Walsh also said that the Boston Resiliency Fund — announced Monday — Reached $10 million dollars from 500 donations in the 24 hours since it began. He added that the next benchmark is $20 million.
The mayor added that essential city services — such as trash collection and street sweeping — would continue and that parked cars would not be ticketed or towed.
Other points Walsh noted included a halt to eviction proceedings by the Boston Housing Authority, a freeze on service cutoffs by utilities and assurance and a assurances from grocers that supply chains were active and stable to maintain a full stock of goods on the shelves.
Walsh also reviewed recent actions taken by the city and state to enforce social distancing and impede the spread of the novel coronavirus including a ban on dine-in services at restaurants — though drive-thru, delivery and take out would still function. The mayor also reiterated the importance of the closure of Boston Public Schools and libraries, the pause to construction work in the city as well as the cancellation of events for groups of more than 25 people.
The objective of such moves was to "flatten the curve" — a concept designed to relieve the pressure on health care systems by spreading out a surge of COVID-19 cases over time.
"It's OK to go out for a walk and get some fresh air and clear your mind," he said. "This is not a time for house parties, play dates or visiting your friends.
"This is everyone's responsibility," he continued. "We simply need everyone's help, and that's how we'll get through this. That's how we'll get back to life, and a normal life, in this city."
Walsh urged Bostonians to check in on elderly and incapacitated neighbors to make sure that "social distancing does not become social isolation."
"Reach out to anyone who could use a word of support," he said. "Let them know they're not alone.
"These are not ordinary time but this is not an ordinary city," he concluded. We are a city of miracles and comebacks. There is nothing we can't do when we stand together."