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Not wearing a face covering? You could get fined in Marin County for violating health orders

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MARIN COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) – Marin County will now crack down on people violating public health orders. 

Businesses that flout the rules risk being penalized as much as $10,000.

Being caught not wearing a mask while out and about in Marin County could soon mean getting a ticket.

The urgency ordinance that gets tougher on rule breakers was passed unanimously by the Marin County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

Now under the new rules, city and county workers, including law enforcement, park rangers and code enforcement officers, can hit people with a ticket for walking around bare faced in public

Or getting caught hosting a party ranging from $25 bucks to $500.

But it’s businesses skirting the health orders that are the real target.

We are talking about things such as restaurants letting it slide when cooks in the kitchen or wait staff serving food don’t wear masks. 

Those that get caught face steep penalties starting at $250, and topping out at $10,000.

The bigger the risk to public health and the number of previous warnings will help determine how expensive the citation will be.  

Those writing up the violation can give businesses up to three days to correct the course.  

Dr. Matt Willis, the County Public Health Officer who recovered from coronavirus, explains why they felt like they needed to ramp up enforcement.

“This is an important step for reopening. We made the unfortunate decision last week that we weren’t ready to resume classroom-based learning in mid August as we hoped to. So this kind of enforcement is an important way for us to flatten the curve as much as we can so we can resume some of those re-openings that we have been planning to do like getting kids back to school,” Dr. Willis said. 

Last week the county established an email address where people can tip off authorities about rule breakers.  

It’s already averaging 60 complaints a day.  

Now that the ordinance has passed, it will be a few weeks to make sure the county and all of the cities are on the same page before these citations are handed out.

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