Worcester city inspectors say they'll be watching closely and doing unannounced inspections after fielding numerous complaints about businesses and their patrons not following COVID-19 safety protocols in recent days.
“We’re going out in the evening, on the weekends and looking at the restaurants,” said Worcester’s director of housing and health inspections, Amanda Wilson. “Just double checking that everybody’s doing what they need to do, and things are not overcrowded.”
Worcester resident Ruben Abarca said he’s been shocked at how many people he’s seen not following the rules.
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“It’s kind of a little weird seeing everyone out without the masks on. I feel like it’s all too relaxed, a little too disrespectful I think sometimes,” he said.
Wilson said that, while businesses not following the guidelines could be subject to fines, the city is focused on education first and foremost.
“Business owners, they want to be working, they want to be in business, and we understand the situation that they’ve been in and we want to be able to work with them,” Wilson said.
The ultimate goal is protecting the health and safety of the entire city, while keeping the COVID infection numbers low, she said.
“Because the last thing that we want to do is see our numbers rise and then have to close things again,” Wilson said.
If you see a violation of COVID-19 protocols, the Department of Inspectional Services said you are encouraged to give them a call and report it.