Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said a recent sweep of restaurants, nail salons, barbershops and funeral homes found nearly 350 businesses in violation of the state's COVID-19 guidelines.
The governor said the Division of Professional Licensure state conducted 92 inspections last week across funeral homes, nail salons and barbershops in the high-risk communities of Chelsea, Everett, Lawrence, Lynn and Revere and found 47 violations.
The Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission also conducted inspections at over 1,200 restaurants statewide last week. About 900 were found to be in compliance, with the other 300 issued fines or warnings.
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"We're pleased a vast majority of restaurants and customers are enjoying their experience outdoor dining, indoor dining safely and appropriately to prevent the spread of COVID," Baker said.
The crackdown on businesses is all part of increased enforcement efforts aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus in Massachusetts. In recent weeks, the state has focused much of its efforts on Chelsea, Everett, Lawrence, Lynn and Revere. That included handing out informational signs and flyers and hand sanitizer over the long holiday weekend.
"We all have the same goal, which is to keep COVID out of these communities and do everything we can to keep their people safe," Baker said.
This weekend, the governor said Framingham will also be added to the list of communities where the state will be focusing its efforts.
Baker had last spoken publicly on Sept. 3, when he announced the new campaign to address the five Massachusetts communities that have shown the most persistently high COVID-19 case and transmission rates.
The campaign, an extension of the recently-created COVID Enforcement and Intervention Team that is to ramp up enforcement efforts and coordinate intervention efforts in high-risk communities, features billboard ads, digital and social media messaging, multi-lingual field teams, phone and text outreach, and communication with local organizations.
The campaign includes a new state website, www.mass.gov/stopcovid19, that provides connections to resources and will post informational materials that can be printed out and displayed at businesses, housing complexes and in other places.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health on Tuesday reported 168 newly confirmed coronavirus cases and eight additional fatalities. There have now been more than 121,000 confirmed cases in the state and 8,900 deaths.
The number of people in the hospital with the disease Tuesday was up to 368, with 47 of those patients in intensive care.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Massachusetts has declined over the past two weeks, going from almost 373 on Aug. 24 to nearly 336 on Monday, according to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering
The seven-day rolling average of the positivity rate in Massachusetts dropped over the past two weeks, going from 2.06% on Aug. 24 to 1.59% on Monday, Johns Hopkins said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.