Hey, there! Log in / Register

Proof of vaccination to be required for indoor public venues in Boston; city workers will have to get shots

COVID-19 Announcement - 12/20/21

Mayor Wu this morning announced "one more step" in an aggressive battle against Covid-19: Starting Jan. 15, everybody over 12 entering private venues in Boston will have to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination.

The policy applies to both visitors and workers at these locations. Wu added that that is also the deadline for Boston city workers to show proof of vaccination - she is eliminating a current city alternative that lets employees who don't want to get shots to show weekly proof of a negative test.

Under the policy, by Jan. 15, people over 12 who want to eat in a Boston restaurant or go to a theater, gym or sports event will have to show they've gotten at least one shot. After Feb. 15, they will have to show proof of two shots. The age will be lowered to 5 years on March 1.

The same dates apply to city workers, she said. The Boston firefighters union, which has long opposed mandatory vaccination, is already looking at possible legal action.

Wu said some 80% of Bostonians have already gotten one shot; 70% both.

Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission said Covid-19 numbers up 90% over 2 weeks ago, Boston's test positivity rate is now 6.7% and there 369 new diagnoses a day. She said there are 229 people in the hospital, up 60% from 2 weeks ago and that two-thirds of the hospitalized are unvaccinated.

Ojikutu kept speaking even as a small group of protesters entered City Hall's lobby, sang the Star-Spangled Banner then began chanting loudly, their voices amplified far beyond their numbers because the City Hall atrium is a giant echo chamber. They booed when Ojikutu announced the city would be making free rapid test kits available at libraries, community centers and other places.

As outgoing Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone began speaking, they started blowing whistles. Curtatone had to scream about what he and other officials are doing to try to save lives in a state that will soon surpass 20,000 deaths from the virus.

Among the screamer organizers: Tony Federico, who lives nowhere near Boston, but who seems to like to come to Boston to yell. Also among the screamers: Trump-supporting Republican gubernatorial candidate Geoff Diehl. Diehl also doesn't live in Boston.

Boston City Councilor Ed Flynn (South Boston, South End, Chinatown, Downtown) said: "We stand with the mayor and her team today. This is a difficult decision the mayor made, but it's based on science."

The new policy, Wu said, will help reduce the strain on exhausted Boston hospitals - and small businesses, which she said "have been forced to act on their own" for so long.

Vaccinations, she said, remain our strongest tool against Covid-19.

She added that, starting tomorrow, the city will be announcing new vaccination clinics, in particular in minority and low-income neighborhoods, which have continued to lag behind other city neighborhoods in getting shots.

More information from city.

Neighborhoods: 
Topics: 

Ad:
Like the job UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!

Comments

Except that by January 15th, Omicron will have wrapped up with the East Coast and will be busy killing by the truckload in the heartland, but I guess this will help when the next one comes along.

up
23

They'll probably repeal the policy between the nadir of the Omicron wave and the next variant's emergence like what happened earlier this year between WT/Alpha and Delta.

What I'm hearing from friends in other cities (NYC, SF) is that businesses are good about checking for a QR code but don't follow up by checking IDs so it remains an honor system.

Still probably better then ignoring the pandemic like most cities.

up
21

Except that by January 15th, Omicron will have wrapped up with the East Coast

Really? Based on what?

up
17

How fast this is spreading in NY, with Boston and DC probably a few days behind...if everyone gets it in the next week and most of us are vaccinated, there will be a few crappy weeks for a lot of people, some tragic days for a few, and then there won't be anyone left to infect.

But, hey I could be wrong! Covid has taken some exciting twists and turns all along and there could always be more!

up
19

For the unvaccinated, you’re looking at a winter of severe illness and death for yourselves, your families, and the hospitals you may soon overwhelm.

up
21

not really. the majority of people (both pre vax availability and now unvaccinated) have minor symptoms unless they have underlying health conditions. Sure there will be outliers, but lets not make it like you will absolutely have severe illness and/or death if you didn't get the vaccine.

up
26

I can't look at an unvaccinated person and determine if they're an outlier or not.

But I do know that their likelihood of dying compared to their vaccinated self is much higher and for no reason.

So, they get the same warning because the warning will be right a percentage of the time and the alternative is to get vaccinated and not even need a warning.

up
21

fair enough, I don't really disagree with you myself. I just think at some point the unvaccinated are only putting themselves at risk, and won't have any effect on the majority of people who chose to get vaccinated.

The more times the virus gets passed around, the more opportunities for it to mutate. That could be fine or it could be detrimental since we already know it has lethal ability.

Look at pre-Omicron numbers. Basically zero breakthrough cases. Now we have a strain that can infect the vaccinated even if the vaccine has given us enough immunity to prevent serious disease and death. It has given the vaccinated the ability to spread the virus again...and it can mutate in ever more people again. The unvaccinated did this.

up
24

Or ADE.

these mutations have happened in parts of the world with low vaccination rates, or pre-vaccination programs, where the majority of the population is susceptible to the virus. Where we are ~80% vaccinated, the likelihood of mutation is probably low or nonexistent.

Not really an argument for people to not get vaccinated, but lets not make it like mutations are the result of those now very few here, who are holding out for whatever reason, tinfoil hat or not. Maybe that's what you meant, but we'd probably be better off beating this pandemic by funding vaccination programs for the parts of the world who are severely lacking, instead of going after our own ~20% or whatever the minority portion may now be. Probably just wishful thinking

Counselor to the President, but yes

The people that will be bearing the brunt of the hatred/backlash for this move are going to be the service industry workers asking people for vax cards at the door

up
91

They're free to quit if they dont like being mandated to do this.

The argument for UBI.

I was behind a car with a Yang 2020 sticker today. Wish I could have shaken their hand. New Yorkers are morons who suck at voting.

up
10

You can support UBI or the EITC without supporting that clown.

You know that some people less fortunate than yourself (it's obvious from the way you're talking) don't have a choice, right?

Look at this wingnut, thinks people should have "choices".

Move along, Magoo.

I've been called a lot of things in my life, but daaaammnnn dude, I didn't deserve that.

OK, granted it was a low blow. But your shtick got tired like three comments back.

The paper card? A scan or photo of the card? Or will our highly educated high-tech hotbed belatedly adopt a smartphone-based solution? The Commonwealth should have done it months ago, of course, but apparently Smilin' Charlie Baker had other priorities.

up
27

The city says "a City of Boston app or any other COVID vaccine verification app" will also work, although there are no further details on a city app.

up
29

Photoshop myself a vaxx card, got it.

up
19

It's not a card. It's a picture on a phone. Are they going to confiscate it and call the police? Can they then compel you to unlock & decrypt your phone? Will they just kick you out and you'll have to go see Keney Chesney somewhere else?

We need an app to make sure that everyone has ALL of their shots, be it the four that Fauci is currently hinting at, or however many will be required per year going forward.

up
12

If you don't, then your little act of FREEDUMBassery might land you in court.

If you survive your own stupidity.

Don't bother, it isn't going to do any of these things it's talking about.

wish this could be enforced on the T

up
35

That sounds like a nightmare to enforce

up
13

Seems a bit draconian

up
27

the cynical folk among us complained that it made no sense for restaurants and bars in particular because you still had to take your mask off to eat and drink.

saying that to say that there’s a certain set of people who are opposed to any form of virus mitigation.

up
35

Just whatever is most successful at the moment. As you point out, when masks were the only defense we had, they were against masks, but now we have vaccines, they don't care about masks, it's vaccination they can't stand.

In reality, they don't care about any of these things at all. It's not masks or vaccination that they hate, it's the people that favor them.

up
28

I don't think it should be out of line to merely ask a question, as the original commenter did

If masks work so well, and we have a mask mandate, what's the point of the vax mandate other than to act as a punishment? You're just as able to spread it vax or not. Where 80% of the pop is now vaccinated, I'd say you're more likely to get it from a vaccinated person.

I realize I'm arguing against the tide with the people who seem to be foaming at the mouth to get more mandates placed on all of us, but I don't think its out of line to question things.

up
24

vaccinated people are not “just as likely to spread” covid 19. im not going to link to anything because that information is readily available.

up
18

Once infected, vaccinated people seem to transmit COVID similarly to unvaccinated people

Tedros Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the WHO, said that the vaccines were 60 percent protective against spreading the virus prior to the arrival of the delta variant. That number has dropped to 40 percent post-Delta. Omicron may worsen the problem, if, as suspected, it is more transmissible and leads to many more breakthrough infections.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-risk-of-vaccinated-covid-...

up
18

for the record, i wasn’t saying that vaccinated people *could not* spread covid. but this is good new (to me) analysis.

let’s also quote from the final few paragraphs of this piece though:

In fact, all of this argues for the boosters, which were recently approved for all adults in the United States. Boosting should restore—or even improve on—the ability of vaccinated people to prevent transmission. But how long will the effect last? And how much will Omicron blunt it?

up
13

You kinda gave away the game with that wording.

up
24

In reality, they don't care about any of these things at all. It's not masks or vaccination that they hate, it's the people that favor them.

funny enough, the orange man voiced his support for vaccines a few hours ago so i expect the tide to change within the next few weeks anyway

In "purple" zones the unvaccinated are feeling the heat of reality on their necks and lining up for their shots. Maybe some friends have died, maybe their employers are done with their shit, or maybe light is dawning on the darkest stupidity.

If it's the same event I'm thinking of, apparently he said he'd gotten boosted to a bunch of MAGAts and they booed him. His fee-fees were hurt!

it may have been the same event - i didn’t actually watch the video, i just read the accompanying tweet. but the idea that Trump is now nominally closer to sanity than his followers is … well it’s a lot of things.

Sanity? Maybe. He's always had a healthy sense of self-interest, and getting boosted definitely goes along with that.

For what exactly? Last time I checked, there was already an indoor mask mandate in the city and had been since late August...

up
24

Numbers a percentage of all residents regardless of age? Did they have a boosted percentage?

Instead of fake IDs showing they're 21, people will get fake IDs showing they're 12.

up
15

it has already been an issue in NYC for those sub-21 year old's using fraudulent identification to obtain alcoholic beverages when the date of birth on their fake ID doesn't match the DOB on their vaccination card that they also have to show at the door.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/young-drinkers-are-pissed-their-fake-ids-d...

up
17

Massachusetts RMV stopped issuing state ID cards to anyone under 14 a few years back. I do some work in the gifted and talented community, and have run into this with kids who are 12-13 and must have a photo ID for standardized testing, music competitions, leadership things on university campuses, etc. that are expecting mostly high schoolers who didn't skip grades. They end up having to get a passport and carry that around, upload pictures of it to websites that get confused that it isn't a state ID card, etc.

Also my kids have had friends who look like they might be young adults at 12-13, they go to an event with parents that requires photo ID (not including kids accompanied by parents), and the place won't believe they're 12.

I don't know why the RMV wouldn't just issue IDs to anyone who wants to go there and pay the fee.

up
19

Because they're the government, and they don't have to try or care, they can just suck and abuse you at will.

Under the policy, by Jan. 15, people over 12 who want to eat in a Boston restaurant or go to a theater, gym or sports event will have to show they've gotten at least one shot. After Feb. 15, they will have to show proof of two shots. The age will be lowered to 5 years on March 1.

Michelle Wu: "THIS IS A HORRIBLE DISEASE AND WE MUST STOP IT NOW"

Also Michelle Wu: "You have 58 days to get 15 days' worth of shots that were offered en masse eight months ago."

I'll drag Michelle Wu every chance I get, but I'll never call her wholly stupid, because she has a cunning streak. This is self-congratulatory window-dressing enforcement. She, like every other Democrat, doesn't care about you. This is a chance for her to pretend that she's actionable. Pat her on the head and move on.

The Boston firefighters union, which has long opposed mandatory vaccination, is already looking at possible legal action.

There's a finite number of people who have the balls to enter burning buildings. Maybe we don't pick fights with them. This ain't an overstaffed, do-little police department whom I'm happy to kick to the curb for their vaccine recalcitrance, this is an actual civil service.

Wu said some 80% of Bostonians have already gotten one shot; 70% both.

Well yeah, we were smart people before she got elected (and yes, I've gotten shots), and we'll be smart people long after she's run off to the private sector for her self-aggrandizement and enrichment.

She said there are 229 people in the hospital, up 60% from 2 weeks ago and that two-thirds of the hospitalized are unvaccinated.

Whatever happened to "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone?" Surely, a Democrat didn't factor this into her decision, because again, that would entail the premise that Democrats care about people.

They booed when Ojikutu announced the city would be making free rapid test kits available at libraries, community centers and other places.

Jesus Christ, what a stupid-ass thing to jeer. Good on Boston for improving access to testing.

Boston City Councilor Ed Flynn (South Boston, South End, Chinatown, Downtown) said: "We stand with the mayor and her team today. This is a difficult decision the mayor made, but it's based on science."

It wasn't difficult. She relished the chance to assert dominion over whom she deems her inferiors. You know, folks who work for a living. This is the (expletive) Super Bowl for her.

The new policy, Wu said, will help reduce the strain on exhausted Boston hospitals - and small businesses, which she said "have been forced to act on their own" for so long.

Says who?

She added that, starting tomorrow, the city will be announcing new vaccination clinics, in particular in minority and low-income neighborhoods, which have continued to lag behind other city neighborhoods in getting shots.

Is that an access problem, or a distrust problem?

up
38

1) what about Wu’s ascendence suggests that she’s angling for the private sector?
2) if she is indeed interested in running off to the private sector, what exactly is her motivation in putting up all this so-called window dressing?

up
16

But she'll lose an election at some point.

As for motivation for the window dressing, it's the desire to bully and harass people without provocation. See also the thread from yesterday where Eeka encountered people who supported civil forfeiture.

up
12

is this like a “actually, the nazis were socialists” thing?

for the record: i supported you in that thread, i just don’t see the relevance here

Democrats don't care about people? Who's the former republican President that killed over 500k Americans for not caring? Who's the former republican president that ignored HIV/AIDS?

Who are ignoring the vax and mask mandates because "my body my choice?"

Who is spreading falsities about the disease and science?

Who gives huge tax boons to the rich and then cuts food stamps, housing, education?

up
13

You did.

up
11

my guess is that misogyny drives people into dark corners and there's no getting them out of there once the pathways have been fused shut. If you have the time to care, you'll notice a pattern of outrage over anything that Mayor Wu promotes versus "okay it kinda makes sense" whenever it's attributed to someone else.

There's no rationale to it, beyond the usual displays of social inadequacy, contempt for women in positions of authority, the need to assert constant superiority, etc. The press conference could've been about enforcing leash ordinances at Medal of Honor Park and the response would've been the same.

up
20

I am also not a doctor but I wonder about the mayor being Chinese American as well, she does seem to trigger some deep pathology in the post.

up
13

And I endorse Yang's UBI above, so the two of you can go play Freud elsewhere.

Every time communities try to claw back services fire fighters respond to the union and their allies fight. It is by choice that they actively get involved in non fire related matters and those matters often bring them right into the lives of vulnerable and ill people. Many are seniors.

If fire fighters are going to be pushy about public health mechanisms like this maybe we should find ways to divorce the service from those non fire related items. Between police activities like flag duty on the street around potholes and fire activities like responding to cats in trees maybe large communities should have a civil engagement corps that drains out those sorts of jobs from the departments.

That way you are only dealing with fire fighters when your life is already in danger so it does not matter if he is not vaccinated and refuses to wear a mask. Can we also address how insane this is. That we have guys who will wear 200 pounds of sealed clothing in a fire but then freak out over a cloth mask over their face while dressed down? How about chemicals these guys come across daily, and the vaccine is the issue?

Finally, life is not perfect but the fire and police union know they have strong benefits. That if they get Covid they will be taken care of. That even if they die of Covid their families are taken care of. Sadly many of those they might infect do not have these lifelines.

I am all for treating these workers like heroes but they have to do the part and be all around heroes. Not just when they pick and choose.

up
14

Will, how long has Wu been mayor? And how long do you think every business should have to design its process in order to meet whatever requirements are in the rules that get invoked here? And how long do you think ISD will need to put processes in place to enforce these rules? Something like this can't be turned on like a light switch tomorrow.

Also, if the firefighters are such life savers...then how about they get vaccinated to save the community's lives?

Want hospitals to not treat the unvaccinated? You'll have to go back to 1986 and kick Congress and Reagan's ass for putting in place EMTALA. While it is mostly intended to force hospitals to treat people who can't afford treatment, it also forces them to serve anyone with an emergent condition even if that person precipitated their problem. That and the moral obligation of not just letting someone die due to stupid decisions.

Fuck "folks who work for a living". The people choosing not to get vaccinated aren't "folks working for a living" any more than the rest of us. They've just chosen to bastardize public health into identity politics and if eschewing public health is their decision, then they can go without public access or public jobs too.

And for those who are minority and/or low-income who haven't gotten vaccinated, it's both an access and a distrust problem. We can vastly solve the access problem a lot faster than the distrust problem, but you're not going to reduce the distrust unless there's also easy access too.

up
46

Don't threaten me with a good time.

My cat has a better grasp on politics than Will and the cat spends 80% of his time sleeping and 5% licking his own behind.

I just hope some kindly stranger saves Will when he inevitably gets stuck trying to walk up a down escalator.

up
12

Members of both the Republican and the Democratic parties are both cancers.

Yes, both the exactly the same. You're a real tough minded free thinker. We. Get. It.

I got free covid tests for my family at the BPS branch near my house today. I assume in your ideal Ron Paul fever dream world, I'd have to pay Epipen prices for them instead? Because freedoms and no government = the best outcome every time? And my 10 year old would be working in a mill somewhere if we couldn't afford to keep him in school? But sure, the boot of the man weighs heavy on the incel triva host...

up
13

I got laid this calendar year. Strike one.

And I'm glad that you get it. Now go tell the rest of the dumb (expletive) national electorate who rewarded the Cheeto with 73 million votes and a failed candidate from 1988 a primary victory in 2020 and then the presidency.

You were able to pay someone to have sex with you. Congrats.

In fact, she was vehement about splitting the check at dinner instead of letting me pay for it.

In fact, she was vehement about splitting the check at dinner instead of letting me pay for it.

High point of the evening, huh?

Was the sexual climax.

There's several videos available on the Internet for you to watch if you're unfamiliar with the concept. You guys have broadband out there in the 413 yet?

Given the inherit closeness to others that comes with being a firefighter (they basically live in dorms a few nights of the week) and the importance of having the firefighters be ready and able to work at a moment's notice, they are the *exact* group that you'd want to require to be vaccinated. (And not just for COVID, for everything.)

Same goes for police given they don't have a choice who they interact with.

If anyone wanted to [foolishly] complain about the requirement it should be those who have remedial computer based tasks that can work from home and do not have tasks that require someone to have fully functioning lungs.

up
25

resembles an attempt to disembowel a live cat with a rusty spoon. This is probably a good approach for him, because when he tries to cut something with a knife, he tends to hold it by the blade.

up
15

There's a finite number of people who have the balls to enter burning buildings.

There is a huge demand for Firefighter jobs, especially in Boston. The supply of candidates is essentially infinite considering the number of openings.

Not many careers can promise you a $120k salary with lifetime employment without a college degree.

up
23

Is limited to the number of existing humans who are allowed to inhabit Boston. That's actually finite.

Maybe there's a Cuban or an Iranian who would be a great Boston firefighter. We'll never know.

Any unvaccinated Boston fireman or EMT and their balls can leave me the fuck alone in *any* circumstances

up
21

Can leave me the (expletive) alone too.

I like it when people unintentionally side with me on my beliefs.

What good is it to enforce it in public venues which people take the unenforced T to get to? Until something is done about the T, this is entirely cosmetic.

But then, checking vaccine status on the T it would keep out the multitudes of the addicted and mentally ill who have set up housekeeping therein (check out Bowdoin, North Station and Downtown Crossing for just a few examples) who are likely not vaccinated, and who under no circumstances ever wear masks.

up
17

Unfortunately the T is run by the state, so Wu can't enforce it. And since Baker refuses to do a state-wise mask mandate even with Omnicron and doesn't give 2 shits about the T and the people who use it, I doubt anything will change.

up
24

Thank you Mayor Wu.

up
41

There goes the businesses, There goes the-patrons, There goes the Jobs, There goes the Parking revenue for the city of Boston, There goes the vending companies that provide food and wine for all the restaurants, it will create a ripple effect.

up
21

If vax rates are at 70%+ are you really claiming that the other 30% are the linchpin of the economy? Please, share your data.

up
20

when can we expect you to return to retract this?

As it is, I'm a bit nervous about going to the indoor events at First Night without a vaccination mandate.

up
20

there might not be indoor events by then. Personally, I'd choose only outdoor events on First Night.

up
18

I can't believe they are even having any First Night events this year. Very irresponsible. Aside from the fact that First Night lost it's original charm many years ago, all the tourists, suburbanites and blow-ins pack themselves like penguins in Copley Square to essentially stand there and do nothing. Smells like superspreader to me.

up
12

I'm a bit nervous about going to the indoor events at First Night without a vaccination mandate.

]

How about not going? Seems like the sensible thing under the circumstances.

This is so long overdue!!! Thank you!!!

up
13

No one method is enough because nothing is 100% effective (whether against covid or anything else in life).

Masks help some, but too many people are wearing ineffective masks or putting them on wrong so there's lots of linkage.

Vaccine clinical trials were aimed at their effectiveness against severe disease, hospitalization, death. They have excellent effectiveness keeping people alive. They aren't 100% effective (because nothing is), plus vaccinated people can have asymptomatic cases and be contagious.

Omicron has a much shorter incubation period than the other variants. This means that if you're exposed today you can be contagious tomorrow; you can test negative this morning and positive tonight. So testing 3 days before going to the family gathering is useless - you need to do it right beforehand.

Using masking, vaccination, testing, and good ventilation added together are way more effective than using any one by itself. The effectiveness is cumulative. Let's keep each other safe.

up
12

Good call. If we can wait until January 15th, then things are not so bad here. Let's not destroy the holidays over media hysteria.

up
13

You are hysterically foolish and ignorant.

Don't quit your day job, which apparently has nothing to do with medicine or epidemiolgy. Or math for that matter.

up
11

Let's not destroy the holidays over hysteria.

Easy, buddy. Just think of it as another battle in the war on Christmas.

Looks like the cancellation of live magic shows have forced seasoned magicians to take on a 2nd job. Who knew Penn Jillette was a sign-language interpreter for the City of Boston. It's just not the same without Teller.

Claims of sophistication are no longer sufficient.

Somebody needs point out to Mayor Wu the CDC isn't releasing a list of people who received the vaccine. There is no way an event or service worker can verify a vaccine card is legit. This is fantastic and shows how unethical, insulting, and pointless her administration is going to be.

up
10

That most people are not in fact dishonest and that while the system won't be perfect, it could encourage some percentage of people to get their shots.

up
13