City of Framingham Delays Releasing Businesses With COVID Positive Employee

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FRAMINGHAM – The City of Framingham is still delaying releasing a list of businesses with a COVID positive employee in January 2020, a month after the request was made by SOURCE.

On February 1, SOURCE filed a Massachusetts Public Records request (FOIA) for a list of all businesses in the City of Framingham that had a COVID positive employee.

By law, any establishment that has a positive COVID employee is required to notify the Framingham Health Department.

The City of Framingham has not been publishing this information for the public, and establishments have not always been transparent, either.

For those reasons, SOURCE, requested the list of businesses in the City that reported a positive COVID employee in November and December 2020, under former health director Sam Wong, via a federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). SOURCE published reports on November and December 2020 businesses, after the City released the spreadsheets.

When the digital news outlet filed the request on February 1, 2020, the City of Framingham said it would respond within 10 business days and by February 15.

But on February 12, the City decided to extend that request until March 8.

Subsequently, the digital news media outlet filed an appeal with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, under the state’s public records law, that the City was delaying information and was violating not only the state’s public records law but was not acting in the best interest of the city’s public health, by not making known public cases of the coronavirus in a pandemic.

The law states that FOIAs should be answered “without unreasonable delay.” 

SOURCE in its appeal argued it is in the best interest of the residents of the City to know which businesses have had COVID positive employees.

The state is reviewing the appeal.

In the mean time, SOURCE filed a FOIA with the City of Framingham today, March 1 for a list of all Framingham businesses with a positive COVID employee during the month of February. The response from the City is due by March 15.


Below is the spreadsheet the City of Framingham provided in response to the FOIA request by SOURCE for November 2020 businesses


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