State Lawmakers Consider Face Mask Fine

BOSTON, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Some state lawmakers on Beacon Hill are proposing fines for those who don't wear face masks or don't self quarantine over concerns of a second surge of COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts.

State Rep. Jon Santiago represents Boston and is also an emergency room doctor who has been on the front line for weeks.

He says he's seen tooo much suffering, and even though Massachusetts is doing well, he's concerned about the possibility of a second surge. That's why he's proposing a five-point strategy to mitigate the virus' spread. It includes prioritizing testing, better funding local health boards as well as fines.

The fines would be $100 for those not wearing a mask, or $1000 for visitors refusing to self-quarantine for 14 days.

"This virus is deadly," Santiago told WBZ's Dan Rae, "If you don't like wearing a mask, I guarantee you, you're not going to like a ventilator. And so, when it comes to mask wearing, it's not just about protecting yourself, it's about protecting the community."

Santiago says this is not about policing people but about encouraging behavior change until we have a vaccine and herd immunity.

Gov. Charlie Baker has ordered the wearing of masks through the end of the health emergency and has advised visitors to Massachusetts to quarantine for two weeks — unless they are travelling from a handful of nearby states.

State Rep. Mindy Domb and State Sen. Harriette Chandler have also signed onto the bill. They want the state to write the public health protocols into law and are urging lawmakers to pass the bill before college students return in the fall.

Listen to WBZ's James Rojas (@jamesrojaswbz) full report here:

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(Photo: Getty Images)

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