By Associated Press - Thursday, October 29, 2020

BOSTON (AP) - Boston Mayor Marty Walsh on Thursday unveiled a plan to tackle the city’s rising number of confirmed coronavirus cases by urging more people to get tested.

The “Get The Test Boston” pledge is designed to encourage residents to get a COVID-19 test, and enlists the help of several city businesses, including the Boston Red Sox, Bruins and Cetics, Rapid7, and Wayfair, which have committed to ensuring their employees know how and when to get tested.

At the same time cases are rising, the daily testing numbers are declining, he said.



“I’m asking everyone to commit to getting tested for COVID-19. Getting tested is how you keep yourself and your family safe,” Walsh said at a news conference. “And it’s also how we track the presence of the virus in our community.”

As of last Sunday, the city’s positivity rate was 7.8%, up from 6.2% the previous week, according to the mayor’s office.

City workers will be eligible for one paid hour every 14 days to get tested during their normal work hours, Walsh said. He encouraged private companies to adopt similar policies and noted the city has two free mobile testing sites.

“We know how important it is to share crucial public health information, and we’re proud to sign onto the city of Boston’s testing pledge,” Corey Thomas, CEO of cybersecurity company Rapid7, said in the statement. “We are committed to sharing the COVID-19 testing resources with our employees, and will continue to do our part to make sure we keep our city, employees and communities safe.”

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WORCESTER-OUTDOOR DINING

Worcester has extended its outdoor dining program put in place in June to help restaurants struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.

City Manager Edward Augustus Jr.’s original executive order to allow outdoor dining was scheduled to expire on Sunday, but Wednesday it was extended until 60 days after Gov. Charlie Baker rescinds the state of emergency he declared March 10, or unless the city manager rescinds his order before then.

“The COVID-19 crisis has had a devastating impact on all areas of life, and our restaurants have been particularly impacted,” Augustus said in a statement. “Outdoor dining provides an opportunity for these businesses to continue operating amid some of the restrictions put in place during the state’s reopening plan. It also affords patrons a safer alternative to indoor dining.”

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