By Associated Press - Wednesday, September 16, 2020

BOSTON (AP) - Boston restaurants are now being allowed to offer outdoor dining in public spaces well into the onset of cold weather.

The city’s outdoor dining season, designed to boost business during the coronavirus pandemic, had been scheduled to end Oct. 31 but has been extended until Dec. 1, Mayor Marty Walsh announced Tuesday.

“Restaurants have faced incredible challenges during this ongoing public health crisis, and the City of Boston is committed to helping them survive and succeed, including by giving restaurants more flexibility around outdoor dining,” Walsh said in a statement.

To help keep al fresco diners stay warm as the weather cools, the city will also waive application fees for permits for outdoor propane heaters.



Dozens of students at a Massachusetts high school are under quarantine after a student who tested positive for the coronavirus attended in-person classes earlier this week, authorities say.

The Attleboro High School student went to school Monday, but didn’t attend school Tuesday. School nurses identified 30 other students who had close contact with the student who tested positive, school officials said.

“This unacceptable outcome was caused by delays in the reporting timeline, not a breakdown in our safety protocols,” Superintendent David Sawyer said.



Massachusetts reported 20 newly confirmed coronavirus deaths and nearly 300 newly confirmed cases Wednesday, pushing the state’s confirmed COVID-19 death toll to 9,036 and its confirmed caseload to more than 123,700.

The seven-day weighted average of positive tests was less than 1%. The true number of cases is likely higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.

There were about 350 people reported hospitalized Wednesday because of COVID-19, and more than 60 in intensive care units.

The number of confirmed and probable COVID-19-related deaths at care homes rose to 5,928 or about 64% of all confirmed and probable deaths in Massachusetts attributed to the disease.

Health officials are also beginning to release aggregate testing data from institutions of higher education. That includes data from 59 colleges and universities doing testing on campus.

There have been nearly 170 confirmed COVID-19 cases associated with higher education in the past week for a total of about 500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since higher education testing began.



Another marker of New England history is being canceled to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

WCVB-TV reported Wednesday that the annual Thanksgiving celebration in Plymouth, including a popular parade, won’t be happening this fall.

Olly DeMacedo, the executive director of America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration parade in Plymouth said for the first time in 25 years, the gathering won’t take place.

Typically more than 20 floats and close to 200,000 spectators descend on Plymouth on the Saturday before Thanksgiving for the parade.

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