At his daily COVID-19 briefing at City Hall Monday, Mayor Martin Walsh was upset that some residents in Eastie and other neighborhoods were still not practicing social distancing over the weekend and using public parks for organized sports and continuing to gather in large groups.
Walsh heard reports on Sunday from each corner of Boston that soccer games were still being played and groups were gathering in closed parks. What really set the Mayor off was a report of groups playing golf at the Devine Golf Course at Franklin Park and the George Wright course in Hyde Park even though the courses are closed.
“I have to say I was disappointed in people this weekend,” said Walsh. “I saw a lot of people not social distancing. I saw a lot of people not wearing face masks. You need to start thinking of the people around you.”
Walsh said he was not impressed by those using parks and playing sports.
“Boston Police had to come and tell them to leave,” said Walsh. “The City will not hesitate to send police officers to deliver the message and, if necessary, deliver citations. Please stay home and avoid contact with others. Respect the recommended curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Wear a face covering whenever you leave your home. Stay at least six feet from other people at all times. Wash your hands frequently. Clean and sanitize surfaces frequently.”
On Sunday, Walsh deployed a Boston Public Works truck with sound equipment to broadcast a message about COVID-19 in Eastie–a place that has one of the highest COVID-19 infection rates in Boston.
The message from the truck’s loudspeakers to Eastie residents was clear: stay home as much as you can, wash your hands often, cover your face when out, and keep your distance from others and was broadcasted in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Arabic.
“Over the weekend, we launched new tactics to get the message out in the neighborhoods that we know are hardest hit,” said Walsh. “We need everyone to know that we are in a public health emergency and we need everyone to do their part. We also continue to work on expanding access to testing for our residents, because every community deserves full access to the level of testing and communication that meets the needs they have.”
Aside from Eastie, the trucks will be deployed to the neighborhoods that have COVID-19 rates higher than the rest of Boston, including Hyde Park, Mattapan, Dorchester, Roxbury and Roslindale.