200,000+ complaints lighting up COVID ‘snitch line’ since March

BOSTON — Massachusetts officials have been paying close attention to the complaints and inquiries lighting up the state’s 211 COVID compliance system.

Command center spokesperson Tory Mazzola told Boston 25 News that more than 200,000 calls have come in since activation in early March.

The 211 system, that some have called the state’s COVID “snitch line”, has led to thousands of surprise visits and inspections across the state.

According to Mazzola, the Division of Professional Licensure and the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission visited 75 municipalities in the last weekend of September alone. He said that more than 5,000 businesses have been visited over the last two months.

“The COVID-19 Enforcement and Intervention Team will continue to collaborate with local leaders to ensure residents remain vigilant -- reducing gathering sizes, wearing masks, and doing their part to stop the spread,” Mazzola told Boston 25 News.

State records reveal a range of anonymous complaints about businesses and institutions not following public health rules in the COVID-19 era.

However, Mazzola said the majority of 250,000+ businesses across Massachusetts have been trying to do the right thing to keep people safe.

Of the 5,000 visits over the last two months, the state reports compliance rates above 90 percent.

The Department of Labor Standards has opened a total of 1020 cases. Mazzola stated that 292 have resulted in a verbal warning, 112 have resulted in a written warning, 20 have led to a civil citation and 42 have escalated to the extreme – a cease and desist order.

Fines start at $300 per violation. Mazzola added that the largest fine to date in Massachusetts has been for $2,100.

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