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Walsh urges construction companies to donate masks, respirators to local hospitals

With hospitals running short of "personal protective equipment" for their medical staffs, Mayor Walsh today called on companies that do construction, asbestos removal and similar tasks donate the masks and respirators they might have on hand to hospitals, now that they are banned from doing any work in Boston, anyway.

In his now daily Covid-19 press conference at City Hall, Walsh also asked motorists to obey speed limits. With fewer cars, he said, more people are speeding. "I don't want to set up speed traps for people who should understand the law," he said.

Walsh repeated that he doesn't see the need to order non-essential workers to stay home or shelter in place - yet. He said Bostonians need to do a better job at staying six feet away from each other when they go outside - and he asked people to stop having home gatherings or parties. ""That can't happen," if we're going to slow the virus down, he said. He also called on real-estate brokers to stop showing occupied apartments and to cancel open houses and said, several times, that in addition to social distancing, people need to wash their hands frequently if they go outside and to sanitize everything from door knockers to handles on their car doors.

Walsh also asked people in the recovery community to reach out to folks they know who might need a helping hand, or just somebody to talk to.

The mayor said that the Boston Water and Sewer Commission has agreed to halt any shutoffs for non-payment of bills for now. And he added that Boston's water, from the MWRA, is safe and remains the best in the country.

He said about a dozen parking-lot and garage operators have agreed to provide free or discounted parking for medical personnel and that Bluebikes is offering a free month to medical staffers.

He said he doesn't think Boston needs to think about building an entirely new hospital just for Covid-19 patients, but that the city and state have begun an inventory of available spaces that could be used to house less ill patients to free up bed in local hospitals for patients with more intensive needs.

Walsh said he'd be willing to look at suspending rent and mortgage payments, but said it's a complicated issue in a city like Boston, which has so many owner-occupied rental buildings - what happens, he asked, if the city or state tells the landlord to stop charging rent for the time being, but the landlord can't get his bank to do the same thing for his mortgage?

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Comments

They'd have to keep some on hand for emergencies, but I believe most dentists in private practice have canceled their regular appointments, not to mention elective and cosmetic and restorative procedures. With such a robust non-emergency healthcare community around here, hopefully that will help emergency-care providers cope with this situation until it's resolved.

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My dentist sent me an email that they were mostly shutting down so that PPE and infection control stuff they had could be used by hospitals. I've also heard that bio-tech companies are sending reagents and other materials to hospitals to use for testing and care.

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I read this wrong a few time so I will answer the question I thought this was.

I know that Dental Associates of New England in Copley is open for emergencies.

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Literally every construction site in East Boston is going strong. What a goddamn joke.

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Monday is the deadline to stop work. Report them if they haven’t by then.

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287 Maverick is STILL live at 10:30am Saturday.

Interestingly, my landlord called ISD yesterday and was told the ban goes into effect Monday, as opposed to sites just having to be “secure” by Monday.

Even in these unprecedented times, City Hall is still in developers’ pockets.

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Did look like they were securing the sites, not doing actual construction. Patching the road, carrying materials inside etc.

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We don't have enough masks, even if we donate them. That's why I'm raising funds to order n95 respirator masks directly from factories in China which have excess output. Once we have enough money to buy a large volume of their masks, we can get them shipped here and handed out to our healthcare workers on the front line.

Here's our gofundme: gf.me/u/xrsyrr

Please, donate whatever you can. We're going to need every dollar we can.

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Hospitals running out of PPE at the very beginning of this emergency is just embarrassing. People who were paying attention knew this was coming back in January. WTF?

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Hospitals are generally not prepared for so many droplet precautions cases.

People who were paying attention back in January (November) should have been hospital CEOs.

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He told Baker that the state needs to purchase its own supplies, but the federal government is buying everything up before we even get a chance. People are going to die because the feds themselves are hoarding masks.

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Covfefe-45 "outbid" the states - then what? He distributes them (charging the state for them) and casts himself as savior?

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He makes sure the companies making them can charge whatever they feel like, so they all make a hefty profit. Fortunately, he's not responsible. It's the Democrats again. It's OK, though -- he's offered us his thoughts and prayers, which as we know have been so effective in preventing mass shootings.

Anyone who voted for this man should be ashamed. Anyone who's even considering voting for him this year should think about what effect his stupidity is having on their parents and other old people. He's going to kill a lot of people before this is over.

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Where are most of these items made?

Answers: China and Italy

The Chinese were closing factories and stopped exporting around the time it became apparent that they were needed at home. Meaning: shortages before US organizations could stock up.

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I'm all for everyone pitching in, and this is definitely not an area of expertise for me. But are construction masks sterile and virus/germ-proof?

I'd just assume they were a looser standard for building vs medical. Curious how it can work?

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It's a standard describing how small a particle will pass through it. Industrial N95 masks are going to be as effective as medical ones, and there's no reason to think they would not be sterile. They have to be better than no masks, or surgical masks. They're sold in sealed packaging.

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"He also called on real-estate brokers to stop showing occupied apartments "

Don't ASK them. ORDER them not to.

Hey state health officials: GET ON THE BALL.

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Do it Storage Wars style. Have the realtor open the door and the prospective tenant gets to take their best look from outside and make a decision based on that.

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State health officials have no jurisdiction over such matters. That would be entirely up to the local public health officers.

Gotta love home rule!

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Construction on these new residential buildings (with police and heavy equipment) has continued nonstop. Not sure what ban he is talking about. Curious to see if any builders step up.

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Every construction worker I know has been laid off, myself included. They have the ability to make the site safe to leave unattended and that is likely what is going on. Some jobs may not be in a state that can be walked away from.

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Oh, is *that* why he specifically closed down construction projects? Interesting!

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