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San Mateo County passes ordinance to fine people violating health orders

Bay Area

SAN MATEO COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) – If you are violating health orders in San Mateo County, you can now be fined.

“I think if we do this, I think if we do this and we’re aggressive, in terms of following this, I think we can get off the watch list and then it’s up to the governor to lift the restrictions,” Supervisor David Canepa said.

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors voted to adopt an urgency ordinance on Tuesday which will allow people and businesses to be fined for violating the orders.

This includes not wearing face coverings.

Individuals

  • First Violation: $100
  • Second Violation: $200
  • Additional Violations in same year: $500

Commercial Entity

  • Minimum Fine: $250
  • Maximum Fine: $3,000 per violation

For business owners, it will depend on the severity of the health risk and any good faith efforts to comply.

“The reason we’re doing this is to save lives,” Canepa said.

“We have seen an increase in calls in regards to people reporting others not wearing masks, gatherings or other health violations,” Rosemerry Blankswade said.

The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office says while they will focus on education first, the mandate gives them another tool to encourage people to follow the health order.

“We’ll start with talking to the person, educating them, in most of the cases it’s been simple, people forgot to put it on. In cases where they absolutely refuse, we have the option to give a citation,” Blankswade said.

Law enforcement isn’t the only ones that can issue citations. The mandate allows health and building inspectors to issue them as well.

“We’re serious about this and hopefully it will get people to comply,” Canepa said.

Canepa says he’d like to keep the ordinance for as long as we’re dealing with the pandemic.

Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Cruz and Napa counties already have similar policies in place.

CLICK HERE to read the full board memo.

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