Framingham State campus police reported not wearing masks

police car at street
Police reform measures are proposed in the Massachusetts Senate. Photo by Matt Popovich/Wikimedia Commons

By Clarissa Garza
BU News Service

FRAMINGHAM — Campus police at Framingham State University are being reminded to wear masks when approaching students after a member of the university’s student government raised concerns about a violation of campus policy.

The reminder was issued after the student newspaper, The Gatepost, reported on a Sept. 22 student government meeting at which COVID-19 rule enforcement by campus police was discussed.

Framingham is among 23 Massachusetts communities designated a “red zone” because of an average daily incidence rate of 11.1 cases per 100,000 population over the previous 14 days. The 14-day average of positive tests, calculated from the total number administered, was at 2.49%.

The Gatepost reported that Eryca Carrier, a Framingham State student and student government senator, said she has watched campus police officers approach students and cars without masks on.

Carrier said she recorded dates and times of the instances she has witnessed the activity, the newspaper reported. She added she has seen campus police coming in and out of their offices without masks on.

“I don’t think it’s fit to tell students that they need to do something if the people that are meant to enforce aren’t doing it either,” she said.

University spokesman Dan Magazu said campus police are required to wear masks at all times and were reminded of that requirement after The Gatepost story was published.

“The police chief says the officers on bikes do not wear masks since it is difficult to breathe, but put them back on when interacting, or stopping to talk to people,” Magazu said, referring to some of the times students may see campus police unmasked.

Campus police are tested for the coronavirus approximately every other week, depending on how often they have face-to-face interactions with others.

There is no separate testing data for campus police, but it’s reflected in the COVID-19 testing dashboard, which includes results of Framingham State students, faculty, staff and dining services.

As of Oct. 1, the university had administered 3,898 tests since Aug. 21.

The seven-day average of positive tests at Framingham State, calculated from the total tests administered in the past seven days, was at 0.34% — two positives out of 601 tests.

Students living on campus are tested biweekly and commuters are selected at random each week.

Framingham State is participating in a hybrid learning model, with 790 students living on campus, according to an email sent out by President F. Javier Cevallos.

This article was originally published in the Metro West Daily News.

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