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Mass. Investigated More Than 1,400 COVID Complaints: Report

A wide range of businesses were hit with complaints, from gyms, ice cream parlors and nail salons, to restaurants, bars, supermarkets, retail stores, auto dealerships and golf ranges

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Massachusetts officials investigated more than 1,400 complaints about violations of the state's coronavirus restrictions last year, ranging from allegations of employees and customers not wearing face coverings to failing to report positive tests among workers.

Of those cases, only 25 led to citations, while another 159 resulted in warnings, The Salem News reported Monday, citing information from the state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. Another 56 businesses received cease-and-desist orders and some remain under investigation.

A wide range of businesses were hit with complaints, from gyms, ice cream parlors and nail salons, to restaurants, bars, supermarkets, retail stores, auto dealerships and golf ranges, the state said.

Some complaints were also lodged against local governments or officials. For example, a town official on Martha's Vineyard needed to be reminded about wearing a face covering in town buildings, according to a complaint log provided by the state.

New COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts are trending downward, but health officials are warning people not to let their guard down.

The state also received a complaint against Pfizer's Andover research facility. The pharmaceutical company developed a COVID-19 vaccine that is being distributed worldwide. The complaint alleged that employees weren't wearing masks or practicing social distancing, and that contact tracing wasn't being used to inform other employees about potential infections.

The company in a statement said it investigated the complaint and "responded to all relevant officials including the Department of Labor's Industrial Health and Safety Inspector who confirms our Andover site is in compliance."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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