Boston’s mayor has put his plans for reopening the city on ice after a new study revealed that nearly 90% of residents haven’t been exposed to the coronavirus.
Mayor Marty Walsh had intended to gradually lift Boston’s lockdown starting Monday but changed his mind when he learned of the findings. Other parts of Massachusetts, however, are beginning to restart their economies.
“We can draw two preliminary conclusions from the results of this study,” Walsh said at a news conference Friday. “First, that the actions we took early on in this pandemic made a real difference in slowing the spread and, second, that the majority of our population still have not been exposed to the virus. This underscores what we already know, that we have to move cautiously and stay focused on what got us this far.”
Boston now has 11,395 cases of COVID-19, up 111 from a day earlier, Walsh said. He also reported nine new coronavirus deaths, for a total of 551.
The study, conducted by the Boston Public Health Commission and the Massachusetts General Hospital, sampled asymptomatic residents in four neighborhoods and found that only 9.9 percent of residents tested positive for antibodies to COVID-19.
Researchers found that one in 10 residents had developed antibodies and one in 40 could still be carrying the virus.
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