Private parties account for rise in COVID-19 cases, Gov. Baker warns

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts are going up slightly, and that’s partly because of people holding large private parties.

Gov. Baker is warning that they’ll reduce the number of people allowed at social gatherings if virus cases continue their upward trend, saying, “The situations recapped are a recipe for disaster and need to stop if we want to continue to reopen.”

Private parties are being blamed for an increase in COVID cases in Massachusetts. The state is investigating new clusters of the virus, some of which were the result of large high school graduation and prom parties. Springfield is also trying to crack down on these private large gatherings.

Springfield Health Commissioner, Helen Caulton Harris said, “Once a superspreader happens it could simply take over the entire city of Springfield, or at least impact thousands of people.”

As of now, in Massachusetts, the large gathering restriction is at 100 for outdoors, and 25 for indoors. In Springfield, police are enforcing these numbers. There is no fine for having the party, but police will track down the host and order the crowd to disperse.

Cheryl Clapprood, Springfield Police Commissioner said, “Usually, we ask them who is in charge. So we can isolate them get them away, whose house is it, whose is party is it, and get them outside and away and kind of put the responsibility on them.”

The state also revealed that just as many adults are holding and attending parties as young people. If you plan on holding a gathering at your home, the state said everyone should wear masks, social distance, and not share food or drinks.

Our southeastern neighbor, Rhode Island, recently reduced the size of social gatherings from 25 to 15, after that state saw a rise in cases that were tied to parties.

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