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'Real And Immediate Risk': Lynn Seeks To Shut Down Tax Business That Does Not Allow Masks

LYNN (CBS) – Officials are asking a judge to force Liberty Tax Service in Lynn to close after the owner told employees and customers they are not allowed to wear masks inside the business.

Earlier this month, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Ariana Murrell-Rosario for "willfully failing to develop and implement measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus."

The company was fined a total of $136,532.

Ariana Murrell-Rosario
Ariana Murrell-Rosario. (WBZ-TV)

The CDC has repeatedly stressed that people can have COVID without showing symptoms, and still spread it to others. Murell-Rosario insists her office understands how to "neutralize the virus," and said she believes the masks themselves can make people sick.

"There could be HIV virus on those masks. Herpes virus, hepatitis viruses," she told WBZ-TV.

In a document filed Friday by the Lynn Board of Health in Superior Court, the city said Liberty Tax continues to operate in violation of a cease and desist order.

Liberty Tax Service in Lynn. (WBZ-TV)

The city told the judge that the business "has a 'no masks allowed' sign posted on the main entrance of the business, confiscates masks from the public upon their entrance" and Murrell-Rosario "refuses to taken any actions to make her business safe."

"The continued operation of Liberty Tax Service during the novel coronavirus pandemic poses a real and immediate risk to the public health because it exposes its own employees to unnecessary risk of contracting this deadly and contagious virus, but also members of the public who visit the business," the city told the court.

The Board of Health is asking the judge to enforce the cease-and-desist orders and require the business to stop operating until Gov. Charlie Baker's emergency COVID order is rescinded.

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