coronavirus

Mayor Walsh ‘Not Too Confident' Boston Schools Will Reopen This Year

He also expressed his disappointment with people who were out golfing and playing soccer over the weekend

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Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said Monday that it is unlikely that Boston schools will reopen this year.

The current statewide school closure implemented by Gov. Charlie Baker runs until May 4, but the mayor said there is "no question" students won't be back in class by then.

With cases surging in Massachusetts, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh says a May 4 reopening of schools is not in the cards.

"I'm not too confident we're going to have school this year," Walsh said. He said there's still a great deal of work that needs to be done just to be able to reopen schools in the fall, and reopening for just a few weeks in June may not make sense.

Walsh also expressed frustration Monday with Bostonians who were out golfing, playing soccer and congregating in large groups over the weekend despite the stay-at-home advisory.

The mayor said his office received reports of people playing golf at William J. Devine Golf Course in Franklin Park and George Wright Golf Course in Hyde Park even though both courses are closed. In one case, he said police had to respond and tell the golfers to leave.

"This shouldn't have happened," Walsh said. "You shouldn't have to be told... That was an extremely irresponsible move."

He said the good weather also had people out playing soccer and walking in groups and socializing as they walked.

The mayor threatened to have police issue citations if this continues, but stopped short of saying he'd implement a social distancing fine like New York City.

Some people are running along the Boston Marathon route despite urgent calls from officials to stay away amid the coronavirus crisis.

Walsh said he was also extremely upset to see shootings involving 16- and a 10 year-old victims over the weekend. The second shooting on Saturday night occurred at a crowded gathering in a Roxbury apartment, in violation of the city's 9 p.m. curfew.

"Anyone who fires a gun right now, you're a coward," he said. "You put everyone around you in danger... You will face justice."

On the positive side, Walsh said the Boston Athletic Association reported very little activity on the Boston Marathon route on Monday.

On what would have been Marathon Monday, the finish line was a virtual ghost town.

"Today, we would be watching runners coming in and celebrating Patriots Day. He urged people to celebrate the day instead by social isolating and by reaching out to people.

Monday would have been Boston Marathon Monday, but the race was postponed until Sept. 14 due to the coronavirus outbreak. Walsh had urged people not to run the marathon route or come to the start or finish lines, saying it could divert emergency resources away from the fight against COVID-19.

Massachusetts on Sunday reported 146 more deaths from the new coronavirus, bringing the state's death toll from the outbreak to 1,706. The total number of positive cases has reached 38,077, with 1,705 new cases announced by the state Department of Public Health.

There were 5,516 cases of COVID-19 in Boston as of Sunday, Walsh said, including 175 deaths.

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