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People Are Finally Getting Serious About Face Coverings

Pasadena Chief of Police John Perez wears his blue face mask. – Photo by Terry Miller / Beacon Media News

Some cities are citing non-compliance with $2,000 fine

To mask, or mask-not? That indeed is the question.

Cover up or cough up some cash. That is what many municipalities are now saying, in a growing effort to enforce the ongoing battle against COVID-19 transmission.

Experts say, to prevent infection, you must cover your nose and mouth. When outside your home, the State of California says “wearing a mask is now required statewide. Wearing a mask or cloth face covering can slow the spread of COVID-19 by limiting the release of virus into the air. It also reinforces physical distancing, and shows you care about the health of others.”

The ongoing battle of the masks has become violent at times with someone pulling a gun when asked to put on a protective face covering. Additionally, some have suggested that masks have become a political divide.

According to a recent article in the Washington Post, “Mask-wearing for some people is an identifier of broader beliefs and political leanings. Like so many issues rooted in science and medicine, the pandemic is now fully entangled with ideological tribalism. This has played out before: helmets for motorcyclists, seat belts in cars, smoking bans in restaurants. All of those measures provoked battles over personal liberty.

“Now it’s masks and the coronavirus, with face coverings emerging as an emblem for what cleaves the nation. To many people, masks represent adherence to civic duty and a willingness to make individual sacrifices for the greater good of public health. To others, masks symbolize government overreach and a violation of personal liberty.”

It was only just very recently, that the president said it was a good idea to wear a mask when he has been saying the exact opposite since February/March.

With confusion, misdirection, and lack of federal guidelines, it’s not surprising that people are confused about the importance of this simple, preventative measure we can all employ.

Glendale just started to enforce the mask mandate last week: $400 fine for first offence, $1,000 for the next and a third strike will cost you $2,000 for not donning a face covering.

Monrovia has just detailed its determination to get locals to cover-up citing 502 cases and 33 deaths in that city as of Tuesday. The city manager sent out a glum warning regarding al fresco dining in the city and face mask mandates. Fines? Not yet.

“In order for the City of Monrovia to allow expanded outdoor dining to occur, we must certify that Safer at Work and in the Community protocols are followed, masks are worn, and physical distancing is practiced. If our business owners, residents and patrons cannot adhere to the guidelines, the pilot program will have to end.

“All visitors MUST wear a mask when not eating and drinking. This includes those walking in the street or waiting for a table. 

“All alcohol MUST be consumed at the dining table. At no time should customers walk in the street with an alcohol beverage

“We need your help to make this successful,” the city manager wrote.

Arcadia follows county guidelines and as far as we know, have not and do not have immediate plans to punish those who don’t comply.

Pasadena Independent asked city officials if they were planning on a face mask fine like several other cities in California. While the city of Pasadena is gaining “compliance through education [we’ve] no plans to fine at this point. We’re doing a lot of outreach though,” shared Lisa Derderian, Pasadena public information officer.

City of Pasadena Public Health Officer Dr. Ying-Ying Goh issued a revised order for control of COVID-19 requiring face coverings for essential workers, along with customers patronizing essential businesses. The order will remain in effect until further notice.

“This order by no means replaces the need for physical distancing and everyday hygiene precautions, such as frequent hand washing,” said Dr. Goh. “When you do need to venture out for groceries or other essentials, wearing a face covering can  help reduce community spread of COVID-19, especially by those who are asymptomatic and don’t even know they have the virus.”

Authorities in Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Monterey announced they’ll enforce the state’s mask mandate by citing people who don’t cover their face in public.

“Our last option was to conduct enforcement by issuing an Administrative Citation, but the risk to community health is too great,” said Captain Edward Ramirez of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department’s West Hollywood Station.

The fine in West Hollywood is $250 plus a $50 fee for the first offense.

Requiring face masks has not gone over well in every part of the state. In Orange County, Downtown Disney has had tighten mask requirements in less than a week. The Downtown Disney District has had to update its policy to prohibit “neck gaiters, open-chin triangle bandanas, and face coverings containing valves, mesh material or holes of any kind.”

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