Boston on brink of moving into state’s COVID-19 red category

BOSTON — Mayor Marty Walsh warns that Boston is on the brink of rising into the state’s red category, designated for communities at the highest risk of coronavirus transmission.

During Wednesday afternoon’s press briefing, Mayor Walsh said Boston could find itself in the red category later Wednesday night or next week.

Data released later in the evening by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health showed Boston just dodged the highest risk classification.

The state’s latest numbers showed Boston’s daily average case count at 7.9 cases per 100,000 people. Massachusetts' red category is designated for communities with a daily average of more than eight cases per 100,000 people.

“It has not crossed the threshold for a real major concern yet but we are monitoring the situation extremely closely,” said Mayor Marty Walsh during an afternoon press briefing. “We’re urging everyone to take this virus as seriously as ever.”

For now, Mayor Walsh said the city of Boston will not be increasing the maximum number of people per table at restaurants beyond the current limit of six.

City health officials will be keeping a close eye on testing numbers at college campuses and will also be focusing on outreach in high risk communities.

“The city has been doing an extraordinary job at keeping the numbers low,” said Boston resident Joanne Ayoub. “I’m confident if we are dipping into that zone that we will know what to do to make sure we stay safe.”

Mayor Walsh’s warning came just days after Boston Public Schools began remote learning.

As it stands, students with the highest needs are set to transition to hybrid learning on October 1st.

Under the state’s guidelines, cities and towns in the red category should move over to remote learning.

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