Boston police will be on the lookout for house parties on New Year's Eve, Mayor Marty Walsh and Police Commissioner William Gross said at a coronavirus briefing Wednesday where they once again urged residents to stay home.
"We'll be knocking on doors and asking people to shut down. Hopefully people cooperate," Walsh said, adding that, if more than 10 people are in homes, police will likely issue tickets.
The city may already be seeing evidence of a post-Christmas coronavirus surge in the form of 569 new coronavirus cases reported Wednesday, Walsh said. He and other officials have continuously asked people to avoid gathering with people from outside of their homes, even during the holidays, as that's seen as a major spreader of the virus.
Gross said his districts will be fully staffed Thursday night, with reserves to be called in, ahead of what he anticipates will be loud or unruly parties -- there are no known threats in the city or state, he said.
"Please, no unruly parties," Gross said. "We want everyone to have a safe and festive new year, but keeping in mind COVID-19 and what a dangerous pandemic it is."
Walsh said the city has already been getting calls about house parties, noting that they're a nuisance to neighbors as well as a health hazard.
'A lot of community organizations have called the city, called the commissioner, called us to say it's too unbearable in a lot of ways, so we're going to have patrols out there just to make sure people are safe," he said.
The officials were speaking from Faneuil Hall, in Walsh's first public remarks since Boston's death toll from the virus topped 1,000.
"Each of these numbers represents a person, with a family, a community who's grieving the loss of them every single day," he said. "The end of this year is a time to reflect on those we've lost. This year, we've lost so much."
The stood death toll at 1,008 as of Wednesday, according to the mayor, with six new deaths reported in the last day. There have been 39,751 recorded cases in the city since the start of the pandemic.
"We're seeing these numbers go in the wrong direction," Walsh said, and not for the first time in recent weeks.
All of the city's coronavirus testing sites will be closed Friday, for the New Year's Day holiday, but will resume their regular schedules afterward, according to Walsh.