BOSTON (WPRI) — Some Massachusetts doctors are concerned a rise in COVID-19 cases across the country will result in a second surge in the Bay State.
While Massachusetts residents may be doing a good job adhering to the rules, states they may be going to visit are having a harder time.
Over the weekend, 19 states hit their highest seven-day average of coronavirus cases, which has forced some to roll back to Phase 1 of their reopening plans.
Dr. Jon Santiago, an emergency room doctor at Boston Medical Center, says Massachusetts is already feeling the effects from states with high coronavirus cases.
“This past weekend alone, we had two patients who had traveled from the south, came to Massachusetts after visiting loved ones, a family member, and are COVID-19 positive,” Santiago said.
Santiago is also a Democratic Massachusetts state representative for the 9th Suffolk District.
On Monday, he introduced a bill, which highlights five proactive steps to prevent another surge in the Bay State.
Steps include a mandate on face masks both indoors and outdoors, and the bill also calls for the enforcement of a 14-day quarantine for travelers coming from states with a high number of COVID-19 cases.
“One thing that we could take away from the reopening, of particular states in the South and the West, is that they reopened too early,” Santiago said. “We all feel fairly likely that there will be a second surge in Massachusetts. I guess the question is, how big that surge will be.”
The bill also requires fines for those who are non-compliant. Not wearing a mask could mean a $100 fine, while not obeying quarantine could mean a $1,000 fine.
The bill states the plan will be filed with the clerks of the House of Representatives and the Senate and the joint committee on public health no later than September 1, 2020.