Local officials turning up efforts to get virus numbers down

NATICK, Mass. — On Wednesdays, the state releases its weekly COVID-19 report for cities and towns across the state. Several weeks in, there are dozens of towns considered high risk while many other areas remain in the lower risk categories.

>> DPH: 40 communities now considered high-risk zones for COVID-19

Natick has been in the low risk “green” category on the state’s weekly health data map.

“We have been very clear what our expectations are of each other,” said town administrator Melissa Malone. 

Natick officials say they have been proactively getting their message out even using their reverse 911 calls to communicate directly with residents.

“To give information so everyone understands where we are. Reminding people of issues that arise,” said Malone.

This week the town voted to use a state law that allows them to fine up to $1,000 for protocol violations.

“Obviously we wanted to send a message but again we don’t like fining. We are just looking for compliance and cooperation," said Natick Public Health Director Jim White.

Resident Bailey Morrison moved to Natick, a green town, from Somerville, a red town, during the pandemic. She hopes her new town’s stiff fine pushes people to do the right thing.  

“I think the excuse that civil liberty is being infringed on is just an excuse to be lazy and uncaring," said Morrison.

Natick officials say this fine is strictly for people who are blatantly now following the rules.

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