As coronavirus cases spike across US, Walsh urges Bostonians to take pandemic ‘as seriously as ever’

BOSTON (WHDH) - With dozens of states across America pausing reopening plans due to a spike in coronavirus cases, Mayor Martin J. Walsh on Monday urged Bostonians to take the pandemic “as seriously as ever,” especially during the Fourth of July weekend.

“This is traditionally a weekend for gathering in large groups for historic ceremonies and social events. This is not something that we can do this year here in Boston or Massachusetts,” Walsh said during a news conference at City Hall.

Boston’s 2020 Independence Day celebrations won’t involve a massive gathering at Esplanade. The Pops Fireworks Spectacular will be aired on WHDH-TV and streamed by Bloomberg. Walsh urged the public to limit their holiday plans as well to limit the possible transmission of COVID-19.

“If you’re going to have a cookout, we’re asking you to keep your gatherings small…We’re asking people to continue to wear face coverings and keep a social distance of six feet away from each other,” Walsh said. “If you go somewhere and the crowd is larger than expected, my suggestion is you turn around and make new plans. Tell folks that you are concerned about senior relatives.”

Walsh said he spent the weekend monitoring the new coronavirus outbreaks that have again shut businesses in Florida, California, Arizona, and Texas, among other states.

RELATED: Some US states return to previous restrictions hoping to slow surges of coronavirus cases

“Those numbers just continue to rise and they are incredibly high numbers. In many of those places, the people who are being impacted are between 30 and 40 years old,” Walsh said. “We need to continue to take precautions.”

Walsh stressed that the Bay State can’t afford another surge in cases as hospitals across the country get pushed to the limit, much like what Boston dealt with during the peak of the pandemic.

“The economies are getting shut down again in those states,” Walsh said. “We here in Boston don’t have to take that path…I’m urging every single resident and business owner to take COVID-19 as seriously as you ever have.”

Chief of Health and Human Services Marty Martinez said new positive coronavirus cases and hospitalizations have dipped to an all-time low over the last 14 days.

“Our work is paying off to prevent new infections,” Martinez said. “All signs point that we are containing the spread of COVID.”

Walsh and Martinez added that the city will be closely monitoring key coronavirus stats as the city continues to reopen.

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