Alarmed by the number of young people gathering outside in groups, Cohasset officials have sent letters to parents warning of $300-a-day fines for their children’s failure to comply with the state’s advisory to stay at home to limit the spread of COVID-19.
“We urge you and members of your family to please take the State of Emergency Order seriously to literally save lives,” read the letters from Pamela Fahey, the town’s health agent.
The letters noted that on specific dates, the Cohasset police had dispersed groups of young people that included the family’s son or daughter.
“The Stay-At-Home Advisory means that residents are only to leave their homes to address essential needs such as visits to grocery stores, restaurants for take-out, pharmacies, gas stations and to get some fresh air and exercise. All unnecessary contact outside of immediate family is to be avoided,” the letter said.
The letters also noted that “of particular concern, is the presumed high rate of infection in younger people that may be asymptomatic and unknowingly spreading the disease.”
Cohasset Town Manager Christopher Senior said that while only a handful of the letters went out, the impact was far wider as the word spread through social media and informal conversations.
“The letters had the desired effect, and no further enforcement actions have been necessary,” Senior said in an April 17 email. “Moral suasion can be very effective.”
Johanna Seltz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.