City of Framingham Issued No COVID Gathering Fines in February; Only Handful of Fines Paid Since September 2020

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FRAMINGHAM – Despite COVID gathering limits of no more than 10 individuals inside a private residence, the City of Framingham issued no gathering fines in February, according to records obtained by SOURCE, via a public records request.

On March 4, the digital news media requested a list of all COVID gathering fines for the month of February 2021.

The City of Framingham responded on March 18, that there were no fines issued for violation of the COVID-19 gathering order in February 2021.

In January 2021, the City issued just one COVID gathering fine for $10,500. That fine has yet to be paid.

Effective, Monday, outdoor gatherings at private residences and in private backyards will remain at a maximum of 25 people, with indoor house gatherings remaining at 10 people.

Effective Monday, March 22 gathering limits for event venues and in public settings will increase to 100 people indoors and 150 people outdoors.

According to another public records request, the City of Framingham issued $21,000 worth of fines for five gatherings in December 2020, for violations of COVID orders, including one fine for $10,500.

The City issued roughly $47,000 fines in total in 2020, between September 2020 and February 2021.

The City has issued about 30 total fines with only a handful paid as of March 18, 2021

In November, Gov. Charlie Baker issued a new order which prohibits gatherings after 9:30 p.m. The order also limited indoor gatherings to 10 and outdoor to 25, down from 50.

In November, Framingham Health Director Sam Wong, who has since resigned, said with the Governor’s new order allows communities to fine $500 per person, as opposed to $500 per gathering,

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.

The City began COVID violation fines in September 2020.

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. That fine has yet to be paid.

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.

The City said it has not been able to deliver the fine. A Public record request shows that the City has listed the fine as “undeliverable,” as of March 2021.

The City fined the same address again in November, but the City said the fine was still “undeliverable” in March 2021.


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