FRAMINGHAM – The City of Framingham issued $7,000 worth of fines for three parties in November.
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.
In total, the City of Framingham has issued 20 fines for more than $15,000 for large gatherings since September 11.
On November 17, there were 12 adults at a gathering at 6 Cedar Place, after 9:30 p.m., and the individuals were not wearing masks, according to the City. a $2,000 fine was issued.
The fine was for $500 for the time and $500 for each person over the state’s gathering limit of 10 people indoors, said the City of Framingham.
Also on November 17, the City issued a $3,500 fine for 1620 Worcester Road Apartment 2964.
The City said there were 15 people after 9:30 p.m. in the apartments, with no face masks.
Two days later on November 19, the City issued a $1,500 fine for 55 Dinsmore Avenue, Apartmenmt 311.
The City said there were about 30 people in attendance after 9;30 p.m., with no face mask.
Earlier in November, the City of Framingham issued four $500 gathering fines.
The fines were for:
- 83 Fay Rd #2 on November 3 for a gathering of 15 people, with half not wearing face coverings
- 17A Second Street on November 5 for a gathering of 10+ people without face coverings
- 32 Pond Street on November 13, for a gathering after 9:30 p.m.
- 1610 Worcester Road apartment 2920 on November 13, for a gathering of 13 individuals without face covering.
As of 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.
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.