As officials continue to try to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Brockton, Massachusetts, the city has announced a curfew.
Brockton Mayor Robert Sullivan made the announcement after Brockton was classified as a high-risk community for coronavirus.
“The habitual parties. The non-compliance with social distancing,” Sullivan said. “It has to stop. It has to stop. The fact that we’re in a high-risk community is extremely dangerous to the people as a whole for the people that live and work here.”
The announcement comes a day after Massachusetts released its latest map showing the average daily incidence rate across the commonwealth. Brockton was one of 10 communities shaded red, the highest risk level.
“Because Brockton is now a high-risk community, effective tomorrow, which would be Saturday, Aug. 22, I have restated and reordered a curfew for residents and visitors between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.,” Sullivan said Friday.
Streets will remain empty in the overnight hours in an effort to mitigate risk. Those deemed as essential workers are exempt from the curfew.
Driving through the city’s empty roads Friday, it was clear many were staying home already after nearly 280 people have died from COVID-19 in the city, and more than 4,500 people have been infected with the virus.
Sullivan also announced the assembly of a COVID-19 enforcement team.
Large and loud crowds are gathering late into the night in Brockton despite repeated pleas from the mayor during the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is an enforcement team of officials,” he said. “We’re going to work together in collaboration to really combat the spread of the COVID-19.”
Those who break the curfew can expect to pay for it. The city said violators would be fined $200 for the first offense, $350 for the second offense and $500 for third and subsequent offenses.
“I don’t take this lightly, issuing these. But I need to,” Sullivan said. “I need to, quite honestly, so that we can try to control this spread right now and really mitigate this deadly virus.”