New compliance effort underway in Mass. communities hit hard by coronavirus

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Officials in Massachusetts are making efforts this Labor Day weekend to ensure that residents of communities hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic are taking the proper precautions.The state says about 35 field team members, mostly volunteers, have been out this weekend in 16 different locations throughout the five cities with the highest rates of COVID-19 infection: Chelsea, Everett, Lawrence, Lynn and Revere.Those members are split up into groups of 3-5 people who speak the local language in the neighborhoods they are set up in, and are working to help raise awareness about the importance of wearing masks, proper distancing and other best practices. State officials say this initiative will expand in the coming weeks.For example, field team members in Lawrence handed out fliers on the street and to business owners. They also held signs along the side of busy roads in the city.“For your mind, for the good of the people — for me, it’s very important,” said Lawrence resident Nelson Colindres.“It will stick in their head, and maybe they will be afraid,” said Charlie Sakr, an employee at E Market Convenience. “There’s a high percentage of people who are coming in without a mask – partying together. In this area especially, they are maybe not taking it seriously.”In addition, the state is undertaking several enforcement initiatives during the holiday weekend with a focus on limiting the size of gatherings. Officials said the state’s enforcement activities are in collaboration with local police departments.“Our contact tracing shows that these large gatherings where people let their guard down are a leading contributor to spreading COVID,” reads a statement from Tory Mazzola, the spokesperson for the state’s COVID-19 command center. “Our collaborative efforts are tailored to each community, which includes enforcing parking at beaches, restrictions on gathering sizes at homes and ensuring social distancing at local parks. We all must remain vigilant by wearing masks and social distancing.”Lawrence police say they have issued citations for more than 30 parties in the city, including nine on Labor Day weekend alone.

Officials in Massachusetts are making efforts this Labor Day weekend to ensure that residents of communities hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic are taking the proper precautions.

The state says about 35 field team members, mostly volunteers, have been out this weekend in 16 different locations throughout the five cities with the highest rates of COVID-19 infection: Chelsea, Everett, Lawrence, Lynn and Revere.

Those members are split up into groups of 3-5 people who speak the local language in the neighborhoods they are set up in, and are working to help raise awareness about the importance of wearing masks, proper distancing and other best practices. State officials say this initiative will expand in the coming weeks.

For example, field team members in Lawrence handed out fliers on the street and to business owners. They also held signs along the side of busy roads in the city.

“For your mind, for the good of the people — for me, it’s very important,” said Lawrence resident Nelson Colindres.

“It will stick in their head, and maybe they will be afraid,” said Charlie Sakr, an employee at E Market Convenience. “There’s a high percentage of people who are coming in without a mask – partying together. In this area especially, they are maybe not taking it seriously.”

In addition, the state is undertaking several enforcement initiatives during the holiday weekend with a focus on limiting the size of gatherings. Officials said the state’s enforcement activities are in collaboration with local police departments.

“Our contact tracing shows that these large gatherings where people let their guard down are a leading contributor to spreading COVID,” reads a statement from Tory Mazzola, the spokesperson for the state’s COVID-19 command center. “Our collaborative efforts are tailored to each community, which includes enforcing parking at beaches, restrictions on gathering sizes at homes and ensuring social distancing at local parks. We all must remain vigilant by wearing masks and social distancing.”

Lawrence police say they have issued citations for more than 30 parties in the city, including nine on Labor Day weekend alone.

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