Framingham Mayor Spicer: Rollback of COVID Restrictions ‘Doesn’t Make Sense For the City At This Time’

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FRAMINGHAM – Last week, City of Framingham Mayor Yvonne Spicer joined Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, Brockton Mayor Robert Sullivan, Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller  along with 10 other municipal leaders in an op-ed in Commonwealth magazine calling for Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to issue “targeted, temporary rollbacks of the state’s reopening plan, with a focus on reducing activities that are sources of (COVID-19) transmission, especially those that allow for gatherings of people from outside our households. 

This week since the Governor had not issued these temporary rollback of restrictions, the Boston Mayor, Somerville Mayor, Brockton Mayor, Newton Mayor, and Lynn Mayor along with a few other municipal leaders across the Commonwealth announced today they are taking matters into their own hands and rolling back restrictions for a few weeks to Phase II, Step II.

Framingham, howeverm is not one of those communities.

The City of Framingham and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will stay at Phase 3, step 1 of the re-opening plan, despite the City’s COVID cases averaging 80 per day per 100,000 people.

“So many Metrowest communities, including the City of  Framingham, are interconnected. Framingham residents also are interconnected with those communities. Because other MetroWest communities are not rolling back restrictions, it doesn’t make sense for the City at this time,” said the Spicer administration in a statement issued by the Chief Information Officer tonight, December 14.

Framingham’s COVID cases have significantly increased since Labor Day. Back then the city was at 8 cases per day per 100,000. Last week, the city was at 63 cases and today, December 14, at 80 cases per day.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said in press conference today, Dec. 14. “We are going to take action now to reduce in-person activity in our city … We’re working to slow the spread of the virus in our city and prevent our hospitals from getting overwhelmed.”

Moving back to Phase II means indoor fitness centers and health clubs, movie theaters, museums, indoor historical spaces and sites, arcades, etc must close for 3 weeks in those cities. While indoor seating in restaurants will remain open under Phase II, bar seating will be restricted.

That will not happen in Framingham, according to the Spicer administration.

Newton will rollback to Phase II on Friday.

“As COVID-19 surges forward regionally, it is best for the city of Newton to roll back,” said its Mayor.

“We applaud Mayor Walsh and the cities and towns surrounding Boston for making this bold move to roll back restrictions and strongly encourage the state to consider similar efforts,” said the Spicer administration in an email to SOURCE.

“Government has a critical role to play in the face of a pandemic. There is only so much that each of us can accomplish as individuals. We’ve seen that most people want to make the right choices to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. Leaving these challenges for individuals to grapple with alone will only further hurt the people that have been hit hardest by this pandemic, particularly in communities of color. We also know that individual municipalities cannot succeed on our own. Cities and towns remain steadfast in our commitment to work with state leadership on a coordinated regional response,” wrote the 14 municipal leaders in Commonwealth Magazine.

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