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Wear a face covering in West Hollywood or prepare to pay a hefty fine.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s West Hollywood Station announced late Wednesday it would begin issuing citations to those who did not have their face covered. Gov. Gavin Newsom on June 18 issued the statewide order requiring masks. At the time, he did not address how the order will be enforced.
The West Hollywood sheriff station did not mince words.
“Beginning this month, we will start issuing administrative citations for people who are not conforming to the order to wear a face cover/mask in public,” the station said on Twitter. “Our last option was to conduct enforcement by issuing an administrative citation, but the risk to the community health is too great.”
The fine will total $300, with a $250 fine amount and an additional $50 fee, according to the department.
The decision to begin fining people came the same day Newsom renewed restrictions on several types of businesses in an effort to reduce the severe coronavirus spike the state is experiencing. In all, businesses in 19 counties, including Los Angeles, were ordered to cease indoor operations. The order was targeted at restaurants, theaters, wineries, zoos, museums and card rooms. Bars were ordered to close entirely.
“We bent the curve in the state of California once. We will bend the curve again,” Newsom said. “We will crush this pandemic. We will annihilate it. We’ll get past this, but we’re going to have to be tougher.”
The governor also announced Wednesday that the state would form a multi-agency strike team to target businesses not complying with public health orders amid the alarming coronavirus spike. The strike team — which will be made up of Alcoholic Beverage Control, CalOSHA, the Department of Business Oversight, the Department of Consumer Affairs and CHP — will enforce compliance. It is unclear what penalties a business might incur for noncompliance.
A number of counties will close beaches and have eliminated fireworks shows ahead of the July Fourth holiday weekend in an effort to keep people from gathering in large groups.