The following is a press release
FRAMINGHAM -Earlier this week, the Commonwealth issued new sector-specific restaurant, retail, and indoor and outdoor events safety standards (effective Monday, September 28).
The new restaurant standards include allowing up to 10 people per table inside restaurants, and while bars remain closed, restaurants
would be able to use bar areas for food service.
In the updated sector-specific order, the State specifically noted that these standards were minimum requirements and that restaurant operators are required to comply with all additional federal, state and local requirements.
While Framingham has not seen an increase in COVID-19 cases from restaurants, the City remains a “high-risk” community for COVID-19 transmission.
As such, the Mayor and the Framingham Board of Health today issued a joint order that, notwithstanding the updated state order the
size of a party seated at any restaurant table (in the main dining and bar areas) in Framingham cannot exceed six people until further notice, to reduce the risk of further transmission of COVID-19 due to large gatherings.
This is the order:
CITY OF FRAMINGHAM, MASSACHUSETTS MAYOR YVONNE M. SPICER AND THE FRAMINGHAM BOARD OF HEALTH A JOINT ORDER REGARDING RESTAURANT SEATING LIMITS
ORDER NO. EO 2020-006
WHEREAS, a sudden, generally unexpected occurrence of circumstances demanding public action has arisen throughout the world and within the City of Framingham due to the pandemic spread of the novel coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2, and persons suffering from the effects of the resulting illness caused by the virus, known as COVID-19 (“COVID-19 Pandemic”); and
WHEREAS, COVID-19 is a highly contagious and potentially fatal respiratory disease, the prevalence of which is increasing rapidly throughout the world, inclusive of the United States and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; and
WHEREAS, on March 10, 2020, Governor Charles D. Baker, acting pursuant to the powers provided by Chapter 639 of the Acts of 1950 and Section 2A of Chapter 17 of the Massachusetts General Laws, declared a state of emergency in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts due to the outbreak of COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization designated the COVID-19 outbreak a Pandemic Health Emergency; and
WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, the President of the United States announced a national declaration of emergency in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic; and
WHEREAS, on March 22, 2020, retroactive to March 10, 2020, Mayor Yvonne M. Spicer, in consultation with the federal, state, and local public health officials, determined that the COVID-19 Pandemic poses a significant, immediate threat to the public health, safety, and welfare of people residing both within and outside the City of Framingham and declared a Local State of Emergency pursuant to Article III, Section 2 of the Framingham Home Rule Charter and Massachusetts General Laws, which Local State of Emergency remains in full force and effect; and
WHEREAS, on August 10, 2020, Governor Baker authorized the issuance of Sector Specific Workplace Safety Standards for Restaurants to Address COVID-19, effective August 11, 2020 which, in part, limited the size of a party seated at a table to no more than six people and prohibited bar seating; and
WHEREAS, the State reopening Phase III mandatory safety standards, recommended best practices and a checklist for restaurants issued by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development) updated September 22, 2020 and effective September 28, 2020 (“September 22, 2020 Guidance”) amended the Sector Specific Workplace Safety Standards for Restaurants to Address COVID-19, efFective August 11, 2020, by increasing the number of people authorized to sit at a table from a maximum of six people to a maximum of 10 people; and
WHEREAS, as of September 23, 2020, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Public Health “Count and Rate of Confirmed COVID-19 Cases and Tests Performed in MA by City/Town, January 1, 2020 —September 23, 2020” indicates that Framingham has reported 2,303 COVID-19 cases and a 3.32% infection rate, resulting in Framingham having been designated as a high risk, i.e., “red” community; and
WHEREAS, immediate action is needed to prevent, minimize, or mitigate damage to public health, safety, or general welfare of the people which may otherwise result from the COVID-19 Pandemic; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to M.G.L. c. 111, §§ 104 and 30, the City’s Board of Health Agent shall use all possible care to prevent the spread of infection;
NOW THEREFORE, the Mayor and City’s Board of Health, acting through its Health Agent, pursuant to their respective authority, effective immediately and until further notice, jointly order that notwithstanding the September 22, 2020 Guidance, the size of a party seated at a restaurant table or bar in Framingham cannot exceed six people. In all other respects, the September 22, 2020 Guidance shall take effect in Framingham on September 28, 2020
This Order shall remain in effect until further notice.