Special to the Transcript
Town Manager Austin Faison and Public Health Director Meredith Hurley are pleased to announce that the Town of Winthrop has hired its first COVID-19 Inspector, a Winthrop Health Department enforcement-level employee who will be focused on helping the town combat the spread of COVID-19 as cases continence to be on the rise in town.
Kevin Oliva started in his role on Oct. 12. In this role, Oliva will be responsible for helping to enforce the vital public health regulations set forth by both the state and town, and he will visit businesses and public spaces throughout the community to ensure employees and customers are wearing proper face masks or coverings and practicing social distancing. He will also enforce occupancy restrictions and attend special events to help with enforcement.
The role is a temporary, part-time position for the Town’s Public Health Department.
“We are thrilled to have Kevin on board and for the help he will provide to help combat the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” Hurley said. “He is fluent in English and Spanish, and has demonstrated an exceptional ability to build relationships with others in the community. As cases continue to rise in town, we are stepping up our enforcement efforts to ensure that we are all acting responsibly and that everyone remains committed to making shared sacrifices for the greater good.”
Those who are found in violation of the local and state guidelines may be cited and fined. Residents could be fined up to $300 and businesses could be fined up to $500.
Residents are strongly urged to remain vigilant against any further spread of the disease in the community. At this time, the town is still designated a red, high risk community by the Commonwealth. Since receiving this designation, the town has worked in close collaboration with the Department of Public Health to address the recent rise in the prevalence of the novel coronavirus in the community. The average case rate for Winthrop has been 11.7 cases per 100,00 residents in the last two weeks. There are currently 20 active cases in Winthrop.
For more information about COVID-19 prevention and symptoms, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website here and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health website here. Winthrop residents are reminded to visit WinthropCOVID19.com, which serves as a dedicated town resource for information on the pandemic.