By Kristina Rex

WINTHROP (CBS) – Multiple towns across Massachusetts are creating new positions in their local governments to enforce COVID-19 restrictions and to encourage people to take health measures like wearing a mask, sanitizing, and social distancing.

The town of Winthrop has hired a part time “COVID Inspector.” The job will be done by one man who primarily will engage with people in the town through handing out masks and encouraging social distancing.

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“I don’t see this person necessarily doing a ride along with the police department, but would be the one who would follow up on any complaints,” said Meredith Hurley, the Town of Winthrop Director of Public Health.

Depending on the needs in town, the inspector could fine businesses and laypeople who violate COVID-19 guidelines.

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Already, Winthrop, which is in the COVID-19 red zone, has had to issue two citations for backyard parties that happened in September with upwards of 70 people present. Governor Charlie Baker has said multiple times that private gatherings with friends and family without masks are the prime contributor to a spike in COVID-19 cases, especially among young people.

“I’m definitely concerned for what the next few weeks, few months are going to hold,” Hurley told WBZ.

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The position will be temporary through at least December, and then the town will reevaluate as needed.

Kristina Rex