An update to COVID-19 practices in Boston
Mayor Michelle Wu and Commissioner of Public Health and Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission Dr. Bisola Ojikutu announced on Feb. 18 that the City’s B Together policy has been lifted. The mandate had required that patrons and staff of specific indoor spaces show proof of vaccination against the virus, due to improvements in public health data. The data has shown that “Boston has a 4.0% community positivity rate; 90.7% occupancy rate of adult ICU beds, and 7-day average of adult COVID-19 hospitalizations at 195.9 per day, falling below all three previously announced thresholds,” according to a media release. The requirement that individuals wear masks in public indoor spaces remains in effect. Wu and other officials commented on the change in policy.
“The public health data shows that we’re ready to take this step in our recovery,” said Wu. “This news highlights how much progress we’ve made in our fight against COVID-19 thanks to vaccines & boosters—which have always been our most effective weapon against the pandemic. It’s a win for every Bostonian who’s done their part to keep our communities safe, and we have to keep going. I want to thank all of our small businesses who have been working to keep our communities healthy through challenging times.”
“I’m encouraged by our COVID-19 data and optimistic about where our city is headed. The City’s COVID-19 response has been guided by science throughout the pandemic, and we will continue to make data-driven decisions in our mitigation and response strategies in order to keep everyone safe,” said Ojikutu. “The Boston Public Health Commission remains focused on ensuring equitable access to vaccination and supporting communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.”
“Thanks to the discipline and hard work of Boston residents and public health professionals, as well as careful planning and strong leadership from Mayor Wu and City officials, we have come together as a city to significantly increase vaccination and testing for residents,” said City Council President Ed Flynn. “Let’s continue working together.”
Shira Laucharoen is a reporter based in Boston. She currently serves as the assistant director of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. In the past she has written for Sampan newspaper, The Somerville Times, Scout Magazine, Boston Magazine, and WBUR.