Gov. Charlie Baker’s Aug. 7 COVID-19 briefing was packed with significant developments. With numbers ticking up, Baker said Massachusetts was pausing its ongoing reopening. He also unveiled new limits on gatherings, gave police new authority to enforce restrictions, and announced the formation of a new COVID Enforcement and Intervention Team, spanning multiple state agencies.

“This team will coordinate an increased enforcement effort across the state, to ensure businesses and residents are aware of and are following the COVID-19 orders,” Baker said.

In addition, Baker said the new team would help high-risk communities hone their response to the pandemic.

“This will be different in every town,” he said. “But will include things like helping a town access additional federal relief funds, if circumstances warrant it. It will also likely include significant assistance to ramp up enforcement with respect to businesses, face coverings, and gathering orders.”

All of which raises a question: In the three weeks since the governor unveiled it, just how active — and effective — has the new enforcement team been?

The short answer is, it’s hard to say. When WGBH News asked the Baker administration for examples of the enforcement team’s work, how many communities it’s working with, and any data showing an increase in statewide enforcement, they didn’t respond.

Local leaders are more forthcoming, however.

“The city of Revere is in our fourth consecutive week with a positive test rate that’s more than three times the state average,” said Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo. “So we’ve got to try something new, and we have to get people’s attention.”

Revere just announced a new, local enforcement push that includes hefty fines for illegal gatherings, more citations for scofflaw businesses, and a new team of COVID “ambassadors,” focused on education rather than punishment.

As Revere developed that plan, Arrigo says, the state’s COVID enforcement team helped in a couple of key ways.

“Our partners on the state level have been talking us through how they could help us communicate, and how we could maybe leverage CARES Act money to be able to hire people like ambassadors in the city,” Arrigo said. “They’ve also been supporting us on some targeted outreach directed towards Revere Beach, [which is] going to be a coordinated effort between the state police, [the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation], and the city.”

The state is also increasing inspections in Revere by the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission, to keep tabs on businesses that have liquor licenses. It’s doing the same thing in Chelsea, where City Manager Tom Ambrosino says the threat of state sanctions could be a forceful deterrent.

“Some of our licensed establishments, particularly on weekend nights, were not in compliance with the COVID-19 requirements, in terms of people wearing masks and people dancing when you’re not supposed to,” Ambrosino said. “When a [liquor] license owner sees an ABCC enforcement officer in their premises, they pay more attention than when they see a local police officer.”

Still, as the governor said when he announced the enforcement team, its approach is flexible. For example, Chelsea isn’t getting increased police support — because so far, the city hasn’t asked for it. Neither has Lawrence, where Chief Roy Vasque says his officers have things under control amid an ongoing crackdown on bad COVID-related behavior.

“We’re in pretty good shape. We have enough manpower,” Vasque said. “We haven’t really seen a situation where we’ve been overwhelmed, and having to reach out for more resources.”

Most of the municipal officials interviewed for this story seemed to appreciate the state's willingness to let them dictate the terms of the enforcement team's support. But Mike Sullivan, the town administrator in South Hadley, had a different take.

“We’re the tiger with no teeth,” Sullivan said. “When we say to [COVID scofflaws], ‘Oh, we’re going to shut you down,’ they go, ‘You’re not going to shut us down! Go away!’”

South Hadley, in Western Massachusetts, recently found itself in the state’s COVID red zone after what Sullivan describes as some imprudent off-campus socializing by college students.

To date, Sullivan says, the state’s new enforcement team hasn’t provided the kind of aggressive support he believes South Hadley needs.

“We report everything we can to [the Department of Public Health], and we know they’re struggling,” Sullivan said. “But I think if there was some type of a quick-strike force ... they could go right into the situation and address it right there. A quick-strike DPH team that has a state policeman, a virologist, a doctor or whatever they think should be on it, that can come into your community within a couple of hours.”

While that might never come to pass, Sullivan, thanks to his role, is in a position to suggest it, and to have the idea taken seriously. But right now, if ordinary people want to give the COVID Enforcement and Intervention Team a tip, there’s no easy way to do it — in South Hadley, or anywhere else.