Massachusetts City Fines over 100 Businesses for Mask Rule Violations

An activist holds a surgical mask during a protest of a visit by first lady Jill Biden and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, at a vaccine clinic at the Abyssinian Baptist Church, in the Harlem neighborhood of New York, June 6, 2021. …
AP Photo/Craig Ruttle

The city of Worcester, Massachusetts, fined over 100 businesses for violating the mask rules as of last week, City Manager Edward Augustus Jr. revealed.

The city went under another mask mandate in mid-September, which requires individuals — even those fully vaccinated —  to wear a face covering in “all indoor spaces open to the public” throughout the city, according to the press release. 

“This includes, but is not limited to, businesses, retail, restaurants, bars, clubs, places of assembly and fitness centers,” it adds, noting that there is no immediate end in sight, as it remains in effect “until further notice.” 

Demonstrators protest masks, vaccine mandates and vaccine passports at the State House in Boston, Massachusetts on January 5, 2022. (JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty)

As of Friday, the city issued 103 fines to businesses, despite the fact that the city manager claims they want to “avoid fines toward businesses due to the mandate, but repeat offenders would be penalized,” according to MassLive:

In addition to the 103 fines, Augustus said the city’s interdepartmental enforcement team also issued 128 verbal warnings. The team also issued educational material about how to better enforce the mandate to 433 businesses during routine checks.

The mask mandate went into effect on Sept. 20. An order accompanying the mandate also requires businesses in the city to report all workplace COVID cases to the board of health.

As of Friday, the city reported 45,065 confirmed positive cases of the Chinese  coronavirus, which represented an increase of 6,723 cases from its January 5 report, despite the city’s months-long mask mandate. 

According to the New York Times’ coronavirus data tracker, Massachusetts is reporting one of the highest coronavirus case rates in the nation, reporting a daily average of 303 cases per 100,000 — an increase of 72 percent over the last 14 days. 

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