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Lawrence News

Posted on: August 19, 2020

Seeing Red! Lawrence Fights COVID w/ Heightened Enforcement

exclamation

Mayor Daniel Rivera with the City of Lawrence Board of Health announces, effective tonight, a three-point action plan to attack the current public COVID-19 health crisis. These measures come as a result of the recent classification of Lawrence as a “Red” High Risk community by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in Wednesday’s weekly Department of Public Health report. An internal review showed that close to 75% of the last hundred people infected in Lawrence were infected for one of three reasons: 1.) Large gatherings and parties, in public and in private; 2.) People that have traveled outside of the safe zone and; 3.) People who have had household contact with someone who has been at a party or large gathering or traveled outside the safe zone. The new action plan will consist of three key components to target community spread: 1.) continued enforcement of the $300 fine for violation the noise ordinance and $300 fines for violations of the mask order; 2.) in-person door-to-door follow up and education for people who travel outside the Commonwealth’s designated safe zones, included but not limited to the Dominican Republic, and high spread states. Printed Massachusetts Travel Forms will be available during visits and; 3.) roll-back of food service hours.

“Public health numbers for Lawrence continue to trend in the wrong direction. If the spread is so profound that kids can’t be in classrooms, then we must act swiftly and intentionally to combat Coronavirus in our community,” said Mayor Rivera. “Being a High Risk community is a scarlet letter and we all should be concerned. This plan will start with strong enforcement of loud music calls that will be treated as possible spread events, which will include taking the Governor up on his offer of using State Police for assistance with enforcement, and, follow-up with individual travelers returning to Lawrence to ensure they are following the Governor’s guidance regarding quarantine measures, and the roll-back of food service hours to avoid prolonged exposure and contact.” After two weeks, if the Department of Public Health weekly report still shows Lawrence as a “Red” High Risk community, the City is prepared to put in place more strenuous measures including a roll-back to Phase II or I if necessary. “People in the City of Lawrence need to know that we must fight this virus to make the environment safe for our kids to go back to school so our parents can go back to work and we will do this by all means necessary.”

Additional information on action plan:

Enforcement of loud music calls:

  • All loud music calls will be treated as possible spread events
  • Police responding to loud music calls will ticket homeowners/renters for noise, mask, and capacity violations (per Governor’s updated gatherings order, face coverings are required where more than 10 people from different households will be mixing)
  • Vehicles parked illegally at music calls will be towed
  • To report loud music or a large gathering email disorder@lawpd.com

Travel monitoring and follow-up:

  • In line with current Massachusetts quarantine orders and CDC advisories, the City will obtain a list of recent travelers and will conduct in person door-to-door follow up to ensure self-quarantining measures are followed
  • Failure to comply with state mandated post-travel quarantine orders may result in a $500 fine per day
  • Residents planning to travel are encouraged to consult the Massachusetts Department of Public Health website to determine areas designated as lower risk COVID-19 states
  • Complete the Massachusetts Travel Form, unless you are visiting lower risk state designated by the Department of Public Health (i.e. CT, ME, NH, NJ, NY, VT)
  • New guidance from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts require quarantine for 14 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72 hours prior to your arrival in Massachusetts.

Roll-back of restaurant hours:

  • Roll-back of Food Service hours including restaurants, food trucks, and other similar food services to 10pm
  • Additional regular inspections by code enforcement officials
  • Targeted interventions and inspections conducted by the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC)
  • Alcoholic beverages may only be served for on-site consumption if accompanied by orders for food prepared on-site
  • Food must be prepared on-site (please note: potato chips, pretzels or other prepackaged foods do not constitute food prepared on-site.)

Questions or reports of violations may be sent to the Inspectional Services Department by emailing marmano@cityoflawrence.com or by calling (978) 620-3130

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