Walsh recommends curfew, covered faces outdoors as coronavirus cases surge

BOSTON (WHDH) - Mayor Martin J. Walsh is recommending a 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew among other new guidelines after Boston saw its largest single-day increase of coronavirus cases with 259 on Sunday.

In two days, 511 patients tested positive for the coronavirus in the city — a 27 percent increase over a 48-hour period.

“That is what a surge looks like and we are still at the beginning of the surge,” Walsh said during a press conference Sunday.

He added that the Boston Public Health Commission is recommending non-essential workers stay inside between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. through May 4, and wear face coverings whenever they go outside.

“Plan your day and make good choices,” Walsh said. “We’re seeing too many unnecessary trips in the evening.”

Walsh said he was closing sports facilities at parks, including basketball, hockey, and tennis courts after residents continued to use them in groups.

“People are continuing to gather together and we simply have to take that option away,” Walsh said. “Police officers are allowed to disperse gatherings, they can and will issue violations, but it shouldn’t have to come to that.”

City Hall will also only be open on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and visitors have to schedule an appointment and will be screened on site.

Walsh added that “absolutely under no circumstance” should churches open for Easter Sunday.

He continued that more restrictions could be coming.

“A lot of European countries are shut down completely; we could be heading there,” Walsh warned.

Walsh says what the community does in the next two weeks will save lives.

“I need everyone to understand the seriousness of this situation, lives are literally at stake,” he said. “I am not willing to look back at that number two or four weeks from now and say we could have done more. We must act now. All of us. It is our responsibility.”

Click here for more coronavirus coverage.

(Copyright (c) 2020 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)