Boston coronavirus

Walsh Scolds ‘Millennials' Over Masks, Aims to Reopen Schools in Sept.

"If you're a millennial and you don't want to wear a mask because it doesn't look cool, I really don't care about that," he said

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Boston Mayor Marty Walsh on Friday criticized young people who are choosing not to wear masks during the coronavirus surge, saying he doesn't care if it "doesn't look cool."

"If you're a millennial and you don't want to wear a mask because it doesn't look cool, I really don't care about that," he said, referencing reports he said he's heard of "young people" not wearing masks.

The term millennials typically refers to those born between 1981 and 1996.

Walsh said he's also heard reports of younger people at supermarkets not wearing masks.

He noted that noted that it will depend greatly on whether people continue to practice social distancing to keep a second coronavirus surge from hitting the city.

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Earlier in the week, the mayor was asked if he would consider implementing a fine for people caught not wearing masks in public like Somerville, Cambridge, Belmont and a number of other cities and towns, but the mayor said he would only consider that as a last resort.

Walsh said he's also heard about people continuing to gather in large groups. Especially with warm weather expected this weekend, he urged people to continue to practice social distancing and to turn around if you see a crowd.

"I don't want to have to report Monday that people weren't listening to us. I want you to be smart and do your part," he said.

With more than 60,000 coronavirus cases in Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh are pushing for people to stay safe.

Walsh said Boston is still in the midst of the coronavirus surge. There were 9,271 cases of coronavirus in Boston as of Thursday, he said, up 216 from the day before. He said the total number of coronavirus deaths is now 357, an increase of 17.

"We need everyone to stay focused now to continue to do what we can to slow the spread," he said.

Walsh also said Friday that he is still aiming to reopen schools in the fall, but noted that will depend greatly on whether people continue to practice social distancing to keep a second coronavirus surge from hitting the city.

"If we don't continue to be disciplined in social distancing and see a second surge, that's where we're going to have a problem," he said. "That would be a worst case scenario, not going back in the fall."

But he also made it clear, "My intention is to have schools open in September."

Earlier this week, Walsh extended Boston's coronavirus-related curfew through May 18, along with the city's public health emergency. The curfew urges residents to stay home from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

He also announced that several new testing sites are being opened in Boston, bringing the total to 19.

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