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Improving COVID metrics led to the City of Boston’s decision
On March 9, Mayor Michelle Wu and Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, commissioner of Public Health and executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission, announced that Boston’s COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Declaration will end on April 1. The Declaration has been in place since March 15, 2020.
“Today’s announcement is a testament to how Boston came together in a historically challenging time to lift up public health and community,” said Wu. “As we transition to this next phase of living with COVID, we will focus on providing the testing, resources, and planning to keep our communities safe and prepared.”
“While the City of Boston is no longer in a state of emergency, we must continue to protect our most vulnerable residents and prepare for the future,” said Ojikutu. “Now is the time for us to use all of the lessons learned from the pandemic, strengthen community partnerships, develop stronger public health infrastructure, and ensure an equitable recovery for all.”
Ojikutu’s recommendation to rescind the order was based on consistently improving core COVID-19 metrics, which include “community positivity, daily adult COVID-19 hospitalizations, and occupied ICU beds. As of March 7, the community positivity rate is 2.2%, down from a peak of 32% in early January. Daily adult hospitalizations have also steadily declined and are now down to 94 after peaking at 769 in mid-January. The percentage of occupied ICU beds has been consistently below the Commission’s 95% threshold of concern over the last few weeks.”
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.