With hospitals running short of "personal protective equipment" for their medical staffs, Mayor Walsh today called on companies that do construction, asbestos removal and similar tasks donate the masks and respirators they might have on hand to hospitals, now that they are banned from doing any work in Boston, anyway.
In his now daily Covid-19 press conference at City Hall, Walsh also asked motorists to obey speed limits. With fewer cars, he said, more people are speeding. "I don't want to set up speed traps for people who should understand the law," he said.
Walsh repeated that he doesn't see the need to order non-essential workers to stay home or shelter in place - yet. He said Bostonians need to do a better job at staying six feet away from each other when they go outside - and he asked people to stop having home gatherings or parties. ""That can't happen," if we're going to slow the virus down, he said. He also called on real-estate brokers to stop showing occupied apartments and to cancel open houses and said, several times, that in addition to social distancing, people need to wash their hands frequently if they go outside and to sanitize everything from door knockers to handles on their car doors.
Walsh also asked people in the recovery community to reach out to folks they know who might need a helping hand, or just somebody to talk to.
The mayor said that the Boston Water and Sewer Commission has agreed to halt any shutoffs for non-payment of bills for now. And he added that Boston's water, from the MWRA, is safe and remains the best in the country.
He said about a dozen parking-lot and garage operators have agreed to provide free or discounted parking for medical personnel and that Bluebikes is offering a free month to medical staffers.
He said he doesn't think Boston needs to think about building an entirely new hospital just for Covid-19 patients, but that the city and state have begun an inventory of available spaces that could be used to house less ill patients to free up bed in local hospitals for patients with more intensive needs.
Walsh said he'd be willing to look at suspending rent and mortgage payments, but said it's a complicated issue in a city like Boston, which has so many owner-occupied rental buildings - what happens, he asked, if the city or state tells the landlord to stop charging rent for the time being, but the landlord can't get his bank to do the same thing for his mortgage?