Mayor Walsh offers update on COVID-19 outbreak

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh said 33 Bostonians have tested positive for COVID-19 at a press conference this afternoon in which he also announced the suspension of all activity at construction sites— except for security measures— and the closure of Boston Public Library branches by the end of the day.

Walsh also announced the creation of a new fund that will focus on food access for children and seniors, supports for health care workers and technology access for students learning remotely as the city's residents adjust to daily life during the coronavirus outbreak. Walsh set an initial $20 million goal for the Boston Resiliency Fund, which he said will coordinate fundraising and philanthropic efforts to help families that are most affected.

The money raised will go to local organizations and nonprofits that help families, Walsh said during a press briefing outside City Hall. "Every day I've seen people help organizing, stepping up, and doing the right thing. I've seen incredible acts of kindness and generosity," he said.

Part of the fund's efforts will be around child care options for health care workers and first responders, and Walsh said his team is working with Massachusetts General Hospital on that issue. "Our health care workers are crucial to our recovery efforts," the mayor said. "We need to make sure that they can stay in their jobs and do that job."