Boston reopening on same timeline as state

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (SHNS) – The City of Boston will no longer maintain a buffer of several weeks between the state’s reopening and its own plans, Mayor Kim Janey announced Monday.

Boston will lift remaining COVID-19 restrictions on May 29, the same day that the Baker administration plans to reopen Massachusetts almost entirely by ending capacity limits and business closures. In a press conference several hours after Baker unveiled the new timeline, Janey said Boston’s COVID-19 trends “continue to move in the right direction.”

“Because of this progress, I am making the decision to align with the commonwealth of Massachusetts and lift the COVID restrictions on May 29,” Janey said. “But let me be clear: our battle against COVID is not over. Reopening our city will only work if we all continue to do our part to fight the pandemic.”

At previous junctures in the year-long gradual reopening process, Boston opted to move slower and keep restrictions in place longer than the state.

Janey said on April 27 that the state’s largest city would lag about three weeks behind Gov. Charlie Baker’s reopening schedule, but she said Monday that “we have more than a month of data showing that cases are low and continue to be low over time.”

Boston Chief of Health and Human Services Marty Martinez said Boston recorded an average of 63 new cases per day as of May 11, while the city’s positivity rate dropped to 2.1 percent and was no higher than 4.3 percent in any single neighborhood.

Last week, he said, there were fewer than 65 COVID-positive patients in city hospitals.

“We have not seen these low numbers in over a year,” Martinez said. “It is clear that vaccines are working to keep people from developing serious cases of COVID and decreasing spread of the virus.”

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