FRAMINGHAM – The City of Framingham has issued a total of 18 COVID gathering fines since September.
Each of the fines is for $500, thus the city has issued $9,000 worth of fines.
As of yesterday, November 18, only one fine has been paid, said Framingham Health Director Sam Wong.
The fines when paid do not go to the health department, but to the city’s general fund, said Wong.
The City of Framingham issued its first fine on September 11 to Halstead apartments on Route 9, for a violation of the Governor’s COVID gathering orders.
The second $500 fine was issued a couple of weeks later to the owner of Cotton Candy Party Production, after police were called to a Concord Street apartment building, where after-hour parties were taking place n the basement with DJ, alcohol, and few wearing masks.
Earlier this month, the Governor restricted gatherings in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts even more, as the second wave of the coronavirus was hitting the state. The new indoor gathering restriction is 10 people, as of November 6.
Wong said if there is a party with 20 people, the City of Framingham, under the Governor’s new order, can charge the 10 additional people $500 each, for a $5,000 fine, as opposed to the $500 large gathering fine.
Wong told SOURCE that the City of Framingham issued multiple fines at a large gathering twice this month.
Framingham Issuing Fines
In Framingham, for single-family homes, it is the property owner or the renters of the homes who could be fined.
For multi-family dwellings, such as apartment and condominium complexes, the City will work to identify the one hosting the gathering to determine who should be fined. If the event is held in a common area of an apartment or condominium complex, the property owner could be liable if the City is unable to identify the person who organized the gathering.
The Framingham Health Department is responsible for enforcing the Covid-19 restrictions and the Police Department is responsible for assisting the Health Department. We will continue to receive reports and respond to large gatherings and groups until this global pandemic ends and the restrictions are lifted, said the police department through its spokesperson Lt. Patricia Grigas.
Responding officers will collect and document as much of the following information as legally and practically possible under the circumstances:
- The correct address, including apartment number (if applicable) of the incident;
- The home / property owner’s name and identifying information;
- The name and identifying information of the host and/or person in control of the premises;
- An estimate of the number of persons present, both inside and outside;
- The number of persons wearing and/or not wearing masks;
- Whether or not social distancing is being maintained;
- Whether or not there are violations of the Governor’s Covid-19 orders and, if so, a description of the violations;
- If a gathering appears to violate the order, officers shall inform the host of the violation(s) and request compliance;
- Document any compliance or non-compliance.
“The Police Report documenting the violations, will be forwarded to the Framingham Health Department and they will impose a $500 fine for violations. Officers shall strongly encourage voluntary compliance with the Covid-19 restrictions,” said the department,