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Since California has started to see a spike in COVID-19 cases, Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered that Californians must wear masks in public.
So even though we've seen more Californians wearing masks, enforcement from law enforcement has been spotty. Many law enforcement agencies have come forward and said they rather educate those not wearing masks rather than issue fines.
But as the outbreak has gotten worse, some communities have pledged to fining those not complying with the order. Manhattan Beach is the latest city to join suit. Under the order, failing to wear a face covering is subject to an administrative citation, with fines of $100 for the first violation, $200 for the second and $350 for each one after that.
“The drastic increase in positive COVID-19 cases in our city and around Los Angeles County have shown us that additional measures must be taken to make it clear to the public that face coverings are essential right now,” Mayor Richard Montgomery said this week. “The time for warnings is over. Face coverings must be worn when you are outside of your home in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
However on the opposite end, some law enforcement officials don't view themselves as the mask police. Following the governor's order, they are doing their best.
Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes is having his department taking a practical approach with the limited resources they have available.
“With limited exceptions, not wearing a face covering is a violation of the public health order, but it is not a practical application of a criminal law violation,” Barnes wrote. “As many other industries are gaining compliance through an education-first approach, deputies will continue to educate the public about the statewide face-covering requirement and will request voluntary compliance.”
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