Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said Friday that he expects statewide shutdown orders, currently set to expire May 4, to be extended.
Walsh said Boston is still seeing rising rates of COVID-19 infections and deaths.
So far the city has tallied nearly 7,000 infections and more than two hundred and thirty deaths.
Walsh said there were 398 new confirmed cases reported Thursday, one of the largest single-day increases so far.
“These are certainly big increases and we’re approaching the peak of coronavirus but we’re not there yet,” Walsh said.
The mayor said he is in close communication with Gov. Baker, who said Friday he was not yet ready to make an announcement regarding shutdown timelines.
Meanwhile, Walsh said the city has made progress on testing. Tests for COVID-19 are now available to the general public, by appointment, at clinics around the city. Walsh said the city intends to test all people using Boston’s emergency homeless shelter system within the next two weeks.
The city has already tested more than 1,300 people using homeless shelters; about one third have tested positive for COVID-19.
The mayor also announced a new policy allowing restaurants to sell groceries to the public, a measure Walsh said he hopes will help struggling small businesses stay afloat through the shutdown.
Earlier Friday, in an appearance on Boston Public Radio, Walsh said even after the shutdown is lifted, it may be months before the city's economy is back to normal