Coronavirus

Milk Street Cafe offers facility and freezers for vaccination efforts, Boston officials say they may not need the help

The state has not accepted the cafe’s offer, but the Boston Public Health Commission thanked the eatery over Twitter.

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The Milk Street Cafe has offered the Commonwealth free use of its downtown space to aid COVID-19 vaccination efforts. 

“Dear Gov. Baker and Mayor Walsh, we saw this awesome idea abroad and think it may be helpful in Boston as well,” the restaurant announced Sunday in a post addressed to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Governor Charlie Baker. 

The restaurant and catering company at 50 Milk St. went into “hibernation” in late October, and is now proposing state officials take over the unused space in the meantime. 

“We would like to offer you our temporarily closed large cafe space in Downtown Crossing with 2 available walk-in freezers and 8 walk-in fridges with a top organizational crew to help expedite the vaccine rollout,” the restaurant wrote. “Free. Whatever we can to #BringBackBoston

The state has not accepted the cafe’s offer, but the Boston Public Health Commission thanked the eatery over Twitter, indicating that the extra storage was not yet needed. 

Since the pandemic began, the generosity of Bostonians has been extraordinary, with countless organizations and people stepping up to help however needed,” officials wrote. 

The Commission said during the pandemic so far, they haven’t needed to stand up any additional care sites with non-traditional partners. Officials added that they’re now working with federal, state, and health care partners to ensure widespread access to vaccination. 

“The City is following the lead of the Commonwealth, which put together a vaccine distribution plan and schedule that prioritizes our most at-risk residents,” BPHC wrote in its tweet. “We will defer to the State’s guidance on approved vaccine distribution and storage sites.”

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Yet during the governor’s regular coronavirus press conference Monday, Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders responded with hesitation when asked about the idea of hosting vaccinations and storage at local restaurants

“One of the things in the guidance is you can’t mix the vaccines with other, like, food storage,” Sudders told reporters. “But we are, actually – we’ve not yet – but we’re starting to plan to reach out to large employers, both in terms of employers’ ability to vaccinate their staff, of course, as well as what kinds of storage opportunities they have.”

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