Abbie Jensen: Amherst needs to address approaching forest fire

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

I implore Amherst town officials to develop, without delay, enforceable regulations limiting the size of private outdoor and indoor gatherings. Currently, state limitations only apply to indoor gatherings (eight people for every 1,000 square feet, with a 25 person maximum) with no available enforcement mechansim. Large parties indoors and outdoors have been the source of spreader COVID-19 super events.

While mandating masks in the downtown area is necessary, it is very far from sufficient to protect town residents from rises in COVID-19 cases. I am dismayed by our town leaders slow-walking and dismissing necessary health regulations that limit gatherings.

There is a nationwide forest fire rapidly approaching our town, and we currently have only our house hoses for protection. Town leadership should be organizing to clear the brush and dig trenches. Quite soon it will be too late to mitigate the damage.

Amherst urgently needs to limit both indoor and outdoor gatherings. The town must create the authority to enforce these limits with costly consequences.

Abbie Jensen