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FRAMINGHAM – Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced at a press conference today, September 9, that the state’s increased enforcement helped in the state’s top 5 hotspot communities over Labor Day weekend.

And starting this weekend, the City of Framingham will be added to the list.

The Governor said these 6 communities have “dangerously high levels of transmission” of COVID-19.

The campaign is expected to run in these top 6 communities over the next four to eight weeks, said Massachusetts Secretary of Health MaryLou Sudders.

Framingham is 12th in state for coronavirus cases and as of Wednesday, has the 6th highest rate of infection in the state at 3.46%, over the last 14 days at 10.9 cases per day.

The Commonwealth’s positive rate is just 0.9% said the Governor.

The State’s new rating for high-risk communities come out tonight.

Framingham has been struggling with large gatherings. Framingham Health Director Sam Wong has said large gatherings is contributing to the City’s increase in coronavirus cases.

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MEMA Director Samantha Phillips said the state’s team has deployed Mass State Police to enforce restrictions at Revere Beach and helped Brockton police enforce their COVID-19 curfews.

On Thursday, September 3, the Baker-Polito Administration stepped up its targeted initiative to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in communities across the Commonwealth with the highest number of positive cases.

This initiative brings even greater focus to the top 5 highest-risk communities with regular neighborhood-level assessments and a comprehensive multi-lingual public messaging campaign.

Framingham will now be added, to the communities of Chelsea, Everett, Lawrence, Lynn and Revere.

The Commonwealth’s COVID-19 Enforcement and Intervention Team (CEIT), in partnership with local community officials, is leading this effort.

This targeted initiative includes regular meetings with local leadership to understand residential and business activities contributing to trends, an even greater level of state focus to stop the spread and a new public messaging campaign.

The goal of the public messaging campaign is to ensure residents know they live in a high-risk community and reiterate the importance of wearing a mask and other best practices to stop the spread.

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he State’s campaign includes:

(Additional multilingual online resources will be available soon)

  • Advertising on billboards, digital and social media
  • Downloadable materials in multiple languages
  • Multi-lingual field teams deployed in the communities
  • Phone and text communications
  • Outreach to local community groups

This new website provides residents and local business owners with information on how to stop the spread, state restrictions on gathering sizes, testing locations and materials that can be printed for display in apartment complexes, restaurants and community areas.

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Statewide Enforcement and Intervention team can provide:

  • Targeted interventions and inspections by a range of member agencies, including Local Services, Labor Standards, DPH, MSP and ABCC, coordinated by EOPSS and MEMA.
  • Increased enforcement, including fines, of sector guidance for businesses to ensure businesses and residents are aware of and following COVID-19 orders.
  • Cease and desist orders as necessary for businesses and organizations in violation of the COVID-19 orders.
  •  Support for ABCC and local licensing boards in exercising their existing authority to fine restaurants or suspend or cancel liquor licenses when restaurants do not comply with required COVID-19 safety measure or sanitation codes.
  • Targeted public messaging to alert residents of higher risk COVID communities (road signs, PSAs, reverse 911, etc.).
  • Technical support to local government officials to support enhanced local COVID-19 prevention efforts such as assistance in accessing CARES Act funding.
  • Potential restrictions or shutdowns for parks, playgrounds, businesses or other entities and locations believed to be contributing to the COVID-19 spread in higher risk COVID-19 communities.
  •  Additional public health support such as testing, tracing and quarantining

By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.