Starting Tuesday, February 15, Boston residents and tourists 12 years old and up will need proof of having received two COVID-19 vaccine shots in order to enter certain indoor facilities, such as indoor restaurants, bars, nightclubs, gyms, movie theaters, and more.
In December, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu (D) announced that the city would be starting new COVID-19 restrictions, including requiring all city employees to receive two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and that many indoor spaces would need to require patrons and visitors to as well, in the new year. That announcement was met immediately with protests from city employee unions, business owners, and residents alike. Wu implied that opposition to the mandates were fueled by racism.
As The Daily Wire reported at the time, she told Boston public radio that hatred, fear, confusion, and anti-Asian sentiment fueled protesters who chanted “USA!” and sang the Star-Spangled Banner in city hall earlier this week while she announced a new mandate that will require city workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and businesses to require patrons to be fully vaccinated as well.
“I’ve grown up my whole life knowing what it feels like to feel invisible or othered, and this is an experience that far too many Americans share,” Wu told GBH in December. “Standing at the podium, hearing the demonstrators who were opposing our policies singing patriotic songs and chanting ‘USA’ — the message was clear that we don’t belong here in their eyes, and shouldn’t be trying to take away something that they perceive they have and are losing.”
“It’s a very sad situation,” Wu added of protests. “Because we’ve gotten so far from the American values that brought my family and so many families here, amidst tremendous sacrifice, to be part of this special place.”
Wu also said that it was wrong for protesters to equate being anti-vax with being patriotic.
“There is still a part of our society, even in this state, even in this city, that really feels like something is being taken away from them,” Wu also said. “That is based in misinformation, it’s based in, I think at some level, hatred, and fear and confusion.”
As of Tuesday, more than 70% of the city is vaccinated. Despite the high vaccinate rates, Wu said the proof of vaccination requirement will be lifted when the following occurs, according to NBC Boston:
Fewer than 95% of ICU beds are occupied
Fewer than 200 COVID-19 hospitalizations per day
A community positivity rate below 5%, as defined by the Boston Public Health Commission’s 7-day moving average
On February 4, “the seven-day moving average was at 6.4%. As of Feb. 9, the city was averaging 363 hospitalizations per day, and as of Feb. 4, 89.6% of adult non-surge ICU beds were occupied.”
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