West Hollywood fines those not wearing COVID-19 masks

Not wearing a mask is going to get expensive in some towns in the Westside soon.

The West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station announced this week that MPs will issue quotes for those not following the statewide coronavirus health order to cover their faces when in places public or high risk.

These citations will cost $ 300 for a first offense, according to the sheriff’s post.

In Santa Monica, primary offenders will be charged $ 100 and the third offense will cost $ 500, the city said in a press release on Thursday.

Since Gov. Gavin Newsom issued the mask order on June 18, station officials have said they have focused on educating residents about the requirement. Applying by citation was seen as a “last option,” but officials have now determined that “the risk to the health of the community is too great,” according to a community newsletter.

“We are asking our community to wear a face covering / mask in public in an effort to keep everyone healthy and to control the spread of the virus,” the officials wrote.

The question of enforcement has been an open question since Newsom announced the statewide mask mandate.

While health officials say wearing face coverings is an essential tool in the fight against COVID-19 – as they can help prevent those infected from spreading the disease to others – some local governments and County-level law enforcement agencies said they would not enforce the requirement.

State and county officials have placed a heavy emphasis on education, rather than enforcement, to encourage compliance with coronavirus rules.

However, as the situation has deteriorated dramatically in recent weeks, California officials are sounding the alarm that more needs to be done to avoid catastrophic spikes in infections that could overwhelm hospitals and lead to more deaths. .

“Everyone should be wearing your face covering. I’m not asking you; I’m telling you, ”Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said on Wednesday.

“If there is no mask, there should be no service in any of the places where we shop, where we work,” he said. “If you are in contact with another person, wear this mask to say, ‘I care about you. “

Newsom on Wednesday took action to suspend visits to indoor restaurants, bars, wineries and tasting rooms, entertainment centers, cinemas, zoos, museums and card rooms for the next three weeks. in areas severely affected by the virus.

While Sacramento will always rely on local governments to enforce the coronavirus restrictions, Newsom also said the state has formed a multi-agency strike team to tackle non-compliant businesses.

“Why have rules, why have regulations, why have laws if you are not ready to enforce them?” You have to be voluntary. So it’s targeted. This is where there is abuse, ”he said.

Times editors Taryn Luna and Phil Willon contributed to this report.

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