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Bostonians Advised to Wear Face Mask in Public Amid Stricter COVID-19 Restrictions

Last updated on April 5, 2020

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced tighter measures to follow to combat the spread of the Coronavirus that include closing city parks with recreational sports areas and advising all residents to wear masks in public.

Mayor Martin Walsh puts on a mask following his press conference at City Hall asking that everyone wear a mask outside of their home. (Mayor’s Office Photo by John Wilcox)

“I cannot stress enough that the actions we take now through the next several weeks will help curb the spread of this virus, and save lives,” said Mayor Marty Walsh. “There is nothing that I won’t do as mayor of the city of Boston to protect our residents, and at this very critical time, we must do everything we can as Bostonians to protect one another. This is bigger than any one person – this is about the greater good of our people. Stay safe, stay inside, and let’s get through this together.”

The Boston Public Health Commission also issued a Public Health Advisory for everyone in Boston, except essential workers, to stay at home from 9 pm to 6 am daily. Bostonians are advised to remain in their homes as much as they can, and only leave for essentials such as going food shopping, to the pharmacy, emergency meal sites and other essential services.

Recreational sports areas such as tennis and basketball courts, baseball and soccer fields, are now closed to limit exposure and contact between people. All playgrounds have been closed since March 20, 2020 and will remain closed.

Also, starting April 7, City Hall will reduce the days of operation that it is open to the public to only Tuesdays and Fridays from 9 am to 5 pm.

COVID-19 cases in Boston as of April 5, 2020. (Credit City of Boston)

As of Sunday, there were 1,877 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Boston residents. According to a city press release, public health modeling indicates that Boston is “only 11 days away from peak demand for hospital resources, an estimate that emphasizes the critical need to flatten the curve immediately.”

Among the stricter measures include the recommendation that face coverings should be worn anytime someone is outside the home, including on walks or passive recreational activities.

The following information was provided by the city of Boston:

    • Face coverings should not be placed on children under 2 years of age, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cover without assistance.
    • Face coverings can include a cloth, scarf, bandana, etc. that cover a person’s mouth and nose. Homemade face coverings should be made of intact, close-weave cloth and allow comfortable breathing. Visit CDC guidelines on face coverings for more information and guidance.
    • Face coverings should be frequently washed using a washing machine with detergent and hot water and dried on a hot cycle. They can also be hand washed with soap and warm water and left to dry.
    • It is advised that residents use a face covering, as opposed to a medical grade facemasks, in order to preserve protective equipment for health workers and those serving on the front lines in response to COVID-19.

More resources and information about COVID-19 are available at These resources include support for renters and homeowners; small businesses; free meals for Boston students; free toiletries for Boston students; emergency childcare centers, support for older residents; information on homeless shelters; transportation options for healthcare workers; resources for those in recovery or those who have a substance use disorder; and mental health resources.