Aside from increasing efforts to get people vaccinated, the declaration is a recognition that local hospitals are now near or at capacity due to an influx of people with flu-like symptoms.
The city plans to stock community-health centers with flu vaccine and open them this weekend to provide free doses to Boston residents. See the schedule. For more details, contact the Mayor's Health Line at 617-534-5050 9 am. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, or the Mayor's 24-hour Hotline at 617-635-4500 after hours.
In a statement, Menino said:
This is the worst flu season we've seen since 2009, and people should take the threat of flu seriously. This is not only a health concern, but also an economic concern for families, and I'm urging residents to get vaccinated if they haven’t already. It's the best thing you can do to protect yourself and your family. If you're sick, please stay home from work or school.
In response to the flu news, the MBTA has started using its signboards and PA system to remind riders to cover their mouths when the cough or sneeze and to wash their hands: