Mayor Walsh said today city officials have been working with local hospitals on a plan on how to temporarily store bodies when people start dying in greater numbers from Covid-19.
Walsh provided no details, but said that, unlike in New York City, nobody is talking about temporarily storing them in trenches in public parks - whatever the answer, it will be away from public view, he said.
As of yesterday, Boston has had 19 deaths related to Covid-19, but, especially over the next couple of weeks, there's going to be "la ot more loss of life," Walsh said at a press conference outside City Hall.
Marty Martinez, Walsh's chief of health and human services, said he hopes to release data on the racial and ethnic breakdown of Covid-19 numbers within a couple of days. He said that while the city has detailed data on the neighborhoods where people testing positive live, it only has racial and ethnic data on about half the roughly 2,000 confirmed cases in Boston so far.
Martinez added that, to date, about testing has shown about 200 cases among Boston's homeless community. He said that some shelters have had "universal testing" and that roughly 30% of people tested were positive - but he emphasized that most people who tested positive showed no symptoms.
Walsh said that police are empowered to break up groups of people at local parks or on the street, but continued to hope that people would voluntarily distance themselves without having to have police do it for them. He said crime appears to be down in Boston over the past month - with arrests down 21%. But he added that anybody at home who feels unsafe should call 911.
Walsh addressed millennials and teens in particular; telling them they're not immune and that even if they don't get sick, they could be spreading the potentially fatal virus to their parents and grandparents - so wash your hands, kids and wear a mask outside and stay six feet away from other people.
Walsh added that any healthcare workers who get tickets while parking near their jobs can get the tickets waived by sending them to the parking clerk with a note. He said this is retroactive over the past couple of weeks as well - but added this does not apply to tickets for parking in front of hydrants or in handicap spaces, except, in the latter case, for people who have handicap placards.