Wu tightened the capital metropolis’s vaccine necessities days after three instances of the Omicron variant had been detected in Boston and as well being officers mentioned infections have climbed 89 % over simply two weeks. The transfer comes as many cities hope to stem the most recent wave of infections and the Biden administration appears to develop testing throughout the nation. The choice additionally got here down just a little over per week after Wu instructed POLITICO her Covid-19 advisory group spoke with New York Metropolis officers about their vaccine passport program.
However Wu’s already drawing pushback for her new guidelines. The brand new Boston mayor was almost drowned out by the few dozen protesters — together with Republican governor hopeful and former state consultant Geoff Diehl — who confirmed up at Metropolis Corridor on Monday to jeer her vaccine necessities.
“Welcome to the individuals’s constructing,” Wu mentioned in response. “There’s nothing extra American than coming collectively to make sure that we’re taking good care of one another.”
Companies and eating places greeted Wu’s announcement with a mix of reduction and dismay. Some entrepreneurs welcomed the extra step to maintain their employees and patrons secure. However others lamented extra crimson tape as they attempt to preserve their companies afloat. Wu mentioned Tuesday she’s “overwhelmingly” heard “reduction” from companies “that there at the moment are clear guidelines and parameters that may assist stage the enjoying area.”
Town may additionally face authorized challenges. Shana Cottone — a Boston police sergeant who represents Boston First Responders United, a bunch of emergency medical technicians, firefighters and police — instructed POLITICO on Tuesday her group is “going to battle this by way of each authorized means doable” and is already speaking to an lawyer.
“Covid is a horrible factor,” Cottone mentioned. “However taking away individuals’s jobs isn’t the best way to resolve that downside.”
With instances surging and sufferers overwhelming hospitals throughout the state, Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday issued a statewide advisory recommending — however not requiring — that folks masks up in indoor public areas. The Republican governor can be ordering hospitals to postpone or cancel all elective procedures starting Dec. 27 and is activating a whole lot of Nationwide Guard members to help hospitals going through staffing shortages.
“For the foreseeable future, Massachusetts and a lot of the nation will see giant numbers of latest instances,” Baker mentioned at a Tuesday press convention. “However a brand new case as we speak doesn’t imply the identical factor a brand new case meant a yr in the past. The therapies and vaccines that supply near-universal safety didn’t exist a yr in the past.”
Baker continues to withstand imposing a statewide masks mandate regardless of growing strain from medical professionals, Democratic state lawmakers and now Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), who despatched the governor a letter Tuesday saying Massachusetts “can and should do extra to make sure our most susceptible communities are protected.”
Boston and dozens of cities throughout Massachusetts have already reimposed masks mandates for municipal buildings and/or indoor public areas writ giant. Mayors from a number of jap Massachusetts cities additionally joined Wu on Monday to push their very own vaccine mandates or plan to announce related insurance policies in coming days.
“It’s essential that we proceed to take precautions heading into the vacation season,” Wu mentioned Tuesday. “I’m blissful that cities have the flexibility to go above and past what the state is doing.”