Citing ‘complacent’ populace, Mass guv restricts size of social gatherings, imposes curfew and $500 fine

By Guy Page

Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts on Monday announced an executive order limiting indoor and outdoor crowd sizes and authorizing police to levy $500 fines for each person in attendance above the limit.

Will Vermont follow suit with something similar? Gov. Phil Scott will no doubt be asked this question at his press conference Friday.

Public domain

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker

Baker’s remark that residents had become too “complacent” as the pandemic stretches on resembles comments made by Scott and Vermont Health Commissioner Mark Levine at last Friday’s press conference. Scott warned Vermonters to not allow “pandemic fatigue” to make us complacent. “If we want to keep our schools and economy open, we need to double down on our efforts to control this virus,” he said.

“If we see the uptick….we will be forced to do something about it, and I’m not sure what that will be yet,” Scott said. “But it’s nothing we’re talking about now.”

“Now we’re seeing what happens when we let our guard down,” Health Commissioner Mark Levine chimed in.

Gov. Scott did not attend today’s regular Tuesday press briefing, in deference to Election Day. Baker’s decision was not mentioned. Baker, like Scott, is a centrist Republican governing a “blue” Democrat state. Levine said last Friday other regional health officials “were actively discussing implementing dramatic changes.”

Like the rest of the country in recent weeks as people spend more time indoors, Vermont and Massachusetts both have seen increases in Covid cases and hospitalizations, although the Bay State has fared far worse both in total numbers and per capita. Massachusetts Covid ICU cases jumped from 47 Sept. 9 to 113 November 1, the executive order said. 88% of new clusters since September 27 stem from household and social gathering, “which warrants heightened caution” and the new restrictions, Baker said in the executive order. Massachusetts has the second worst Covid-19 death rate per 100,000 (about 1,400) in the nation, exceeded only by New Jersey. Vermont has the lowest Covid death rate per 100K.

Although nowhere near the scale of Massachusetts, Vermont Covid hospitalizations and ICU admissions also have increased – from zero to less than 10. Unlike Vermont, however, no Massachusetts hospitals were hit with cyberattacks last week.

The following is excerpted from the Massachusetts’ governor’s website: “Governor’s COVID-19 Order #54 (issued November 2, 2020, effective November 6, 12:01 AM) Reduced gathering size limit for gatherings at private residences: indoor gatherings at private residences are limited to 10 people and outdoor gatherings at private residences are limited to 25 people. The limit on gatherings held in public spaces and at event venues remains the same. Requires that all gatherings (regardless of size or location) must end and disperse by 9:30 PM.”

The new order also requires that organizers of gatherings report known positive COVID-19 cases to the local health department in that community and requires organizers to cooperate with contact tracing. The gatherings order authorizes continued enforcement by local health and police departments and specifies that fines for violating the gathering order will be $500 for each person above the limit at a particular gathering.

Religious and political gatherings are exempted from the new restrictions.

Read more of Guy Page’s reports. Vermont Daily is sponsored by True North Media.

Image courtesy of Public domain

5 thoughts on “Citing ‘complacent’ populace, Mass guv restricts size of social gatherings, imposes curfew and $500 fine

  1. Notice nobody is talking about the current death rate?

    Which I hear has dropped by 70%, which would make this just a normal flu in regard to mortality.

    Sometimes it’s what the don’t talk about that should be the topic of conversation.

  2. The only demonstration of complacence from the people of MA is that they have not had another Battle of Bunker hill against such a tyrannical governor.

  3. Inside my home?? how does he plan to enforce that?? Some advice… Stop kicking the bear, they will strike back, with no remorse.

  4. Massachusetts Governor, who rules like a King drunk with power, has totally wiped out the restaurants and bars, the hotels.
    This is a field that is LARGELY full of low wage immigrant workers that he’s wiped out!

    I’m listening right now to Frank Mendoza from Boston on Howie Carr, he’s a restaurant owner and they are on this very topic. Frank is a first generation American with 3 young kids and they are being wiped out.. he just said that he knows immigrants with 11 and 12 people in their family that work in restaurants and they are being destroyed and wiped out. He says “What are they supposed to do, start kicking their kids out of the house?”

    What this Governor is doing to these people is inhumane.. it’s really clear the guy has never busted his tail and struggled at all his life and cannot even relate what regular people are going through as a result of his decisions. It’s criminal.
    These people all have to stop serving at 9:30 and be gone by 10:00- as if the Covid magically appears at 10:15. BUT YET, they can stay out there all night long and do drugs on Methadone Mile this man is saying.
    He is saying “How am I supposed to pay my bills like this??”
    What a heartbreaking situation.. why can’t people at risk simply stay home instead of making it so that people like this, who are raising our next generation are forced out of business.

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