Jessica Souza is playing it safe this holiday weekend.
"I was invited to a friend’s cookout, but I’m trying to be safe and avoid crowds," the Chelsea resident said.
It's not the first underwhelming holiday this year, as social distancing measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 also put limits on celebrations for Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. And while she would rather celebrate in more traditional fashion, Souza is trying to stay strong.
"It’s hard to say no, I want to be with my friends but fall is around the corner and it’s more important to me, I work at a hospital, I feel I have a responsibility for other people, too," she said.
State and local authorities are increasing monitoring for large crowds over Labor Day Weekend to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus in Massachusetts.
The clear and warm weather throughout the weekend is expected to draw many to congregate at beaches and other locations.
Enforcement teams have been ramped up in 15 different locations to make sure no parties are out of control.
“I think that’s definitely a prudent step to take in these times,” said David Graff of Boston.
Health officials say these teams will be targeting specific high risk communities with increased COVID-19 transmission rates including Chelsea, Everett, Lawrence, Lynn and Revere. The teams will be out making sure people are practicing social distancing and not gathering in large groups.
Many say they plan to enjoy the weekend in a safe manner, even if it looks different than how they celebrated in previous years.
“If there is a barbecue because we live in such a dense neighborhood that’s their choice we’re obviously not having one out of courtesy for those around us,” said Somerville resident Caitlyn Webb.
Those who do not comply with the state's social distancing guidelines could be fined.
As of Saturday evening, the governor's office had yet to say whether any action had been taken by the enforcement teams.