Despite daily warnings to practice social distancing, scores of people are still hanging out at Revere Beach, something the mayor of Revere, Massachusetts, said might prompt him to "take extraordinary steps."
Mayor Brian Arrigo said such steps could include shutting down the beach.
The warning came as positive COVID-19 cases soared across the city. As of Monday evening, there were 113 cases in Revere, up from just eight a week ago. In addition, 22 new cases surfaced within a 24-hour period between Sunday and Monday.
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Five residents have now died at Revere's Jack Satter House, four of them due to COVID-19. The cause of the fifth death is still unconfirmed. Eight other residents are in the hospital.
The Jack Satter House is run by Hebew SeniorLife, which said in a statement, "As always, our number one priority is protecting our patients, residents and staff."
The severity with which Revere has been hit so far has Arrigo calling for people in the city to take more precautions.
"You can't be out playing basketball, you can't be out throwing a football around," said Arrigo. "I had a bullhorn to just remind folks that they should be practicing social distancing."
The mayor parked along the beach Saturday afternoon, using a bullhorn to try to get the message across. But he's not sure it was effective, and now he might take more drastic action.
"We never want to close Revere Beach, but it is a last resort and it has to be on the table," he said. "If people don't get that message, then we have to take extraordinary steps, and that would include closing the beach."
The mayor, who declared a state of emergency on March 19, said he'll continue to monitor the data. He didn't indicate when he might close the beach.