‘Disappointing': Residents Respond to Boston's Placement in Red Risk Category

Boston is now one of 23 Massachusetts cities and towns at the highest risk level for COVID-19

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Boston residents were discouraged Wednesday night to hear that the city has now moved into the "red zone," the highest risk category on Massachusetts' COVID-19 map.

The city is one of 23 communities shaded red on Wednesday's map due to having more than 8 cases per 100,000 people.

"It's unfortunate, to be honest, and disappointing," said Stephanie Sinclair, who has children who will be heading back to the school buildings in October. "Honestly taking it day by day, week by week, I can't say how I'll feel, to be honest, in a couple of weeks."

Students with the highest needs will return to school buildings in Boston on Thursday.

Right now, Boston's positive COVID-19 test rate is at 3.5%, and if it goes over 4%, all students in Boston will be forced to learn remotely.

Mayor Marty Walsh says because COVID cases continue to rise, the city won't be moving into Step 3 of Phase 2 like some parts of the state.

That means means indoor performance venues, fitting rooms and other recreational venues, like skating rinks, will remain closed for now.

Walsh says house parties are a major concern among young people, with half of the city's cases over the last two weeks in people under the age of 29.

"I think it's up to us as parents to let our kids know this is wrong and you need to do the right thing," said Needham mom Barrielynn Wise.

Boston Public Schools says Wednesday:

"The top priority of the Boston Public Schools (BPS) remains the health, safety, and well-being of our students, staff and families," the district said in a statement Wednesday. "All BPS students are currently learning remotely. BPS begins a phased implementation of our hybrid learning model tomorrow, October 1. BPS's safe, responsible approach to reopening schools allows us flexibility to adjust our plans according to evolving science, public health metrics and trends. BPS and the City of Boston are monitoring public health guidance and we will only continue with the scheduled phase-in of the hybrid model if it is safe to do so."

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