NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — One day after New Bedford was elevated to “high risk” for COVID-19, a church was fined for violating the guidelines set forth by the city and the state.
The New Bedford Health Department said it has issued fines totaling $1,800 to Iglesia Pentecostal Levantate y Anda on Acushnet Avenue following an isolated COVID-19 outbreak.
The church, according to health officials, failed to comply with workplace safety standards under the state’s guidelines for places of worship by exceeding its occupancy limit, failing to notify the Health Department of an employee testing positive, failing to tell employees about the positive case, and failing to report the positive case to the department.
The violation orders were issue to Pastor Jose Martinez on Wednesday.
The average daily incident rate in New Bedford is now 10.3 per 100,000 people. In the last two weeks, there were 172 new cases, bringing the positivity rate up to 4.5%.
Last week, Mayor Jon Mitchell addressed residents in a video on Facebook saying the city was averaging about four to five new cases per day, which was higher than the rate has been recently, though not as high as it was back in April.
Earlier this year, Mitchell and the New Bedford Board of Health announced emergency orders to keep people safe at their place of work, and outlined how to report a positive case in the workplace.