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No New Coronavirus Deaths in Boston as City Prepares for Monday's Phase 3 Reopening

Gyms, fitness studios, movie theaters and museums are scheduled to open a week later in Boston than they did in most of Massachusetts

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Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said the city is working to develop additional guidelines in anticipation of the start of the first step of Phase 3 of the state's reopening plan on Monday.

For most of Massachusetts, Phase 3 started on Monday. But Boston requested a one-week delay in moving to the next phase because of what Walsh described as the city's "unique needs." Somerville also requested a similar delay.

That means gyms, fitness studios, movie theaters, museums and casinos must wait until July 13 to open in Boston.

"We asked for the extra week because Boston has unique needs and [because of] the amount of people that live in our city and actually work in our city, stemming from the density and population of our workforce, commercial and cultural sectors," Walsh said. "We're developing additional guidelines and supports that take time to implement correctly here in Boston."

In the first two phases of the reopening, the mayor said taking extra time allowed the city to come up with detailed guidelines for construction, office space and houses of worship.

Similarly, he said the extra week is being used to develop guidelines that are specific to Boston for indoor fitness, museums, cultural spaces, tours and outdoor events. Those guidelines are expected to be released later this week.

Gyms, fitness studios, movie theaters, museums and outdoor venues will open with limited capacity, increased cleaning, and added restrictions Monday as Massachusetts enters Phase 3 of its reopening plan.

Boston had no new coronavirus deaths on Tuesday, leaving the city's total fatalities at 710. Sixty-four new cases were reported, for a total of 13,578 since the start of the pandemic. Nearly 10,000 have fully recovered.

Still, Walsh warned that "now is not the time for us to let up here in Boston," citing the alarming increase in the number of cases in many areas of the country in recent weeks.

"We need everyone to be focused on what they can do," he said. "You have made a big impact in the city of Boston by doing all of this. If we each play our part, we will move safely and successfully forward."

Earlier Tuesday, Walsh announced that $6.1 million in debt-free grants have now been distributed to more than 1,600 small businesses across the city through the Small Business Relief Fund set up to help businesses most impacted by closures, policies or loss of revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also on Tuesday, Walsh and Boston Police Commissioner William Gross addressed the uptick in violence after seven people were killed in a week.

After a violent Fourth of July weekend in Boston, city officials are expressing frustration.
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