ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — Starting Wednesday, wearing a face mask to prevent spreading the coronavirus will now be enforced by police.
It is now the law, a new health order requires that you cover your face in public.
“Once you leave the confines of your home and your safe space with the people you’re sheltering with, you have to have the mask on,” Sgt. Ray Kelly said.
The new order comes with the power to enforce for police departments in six Bay Area counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo, Sonoma, and San Francisco.
“Basically that mandates that all people who go out to do essential business and activities must wear a face covering,” Kelly said. “That does exclude children two to 12.”
The new public health order makes covering your face no longer optional inside places like grocery stores, banks, using public transit or when you are just walking down city street. Sgt. Kelly uses that scenario to describe how the order will be enforced in Alameda County.
“If we could pull up and just have a conversation with that person, say hey we just want to remind you about the new health order,” Kelly said. “Maybe you didn’t get the memo that a face covering is required. We are not trying to get in some knock down, drag out fights over masks. That’s just not going to happen.”
As the new mask enforcement begins in the Bay Area, Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan is calling on the metropolitan transportation commission and region wide officials to require transit centers provide the masks as opposed to making it for police.
“Maybe eventually we get to the point where we supply masks but right now the supply is very limited,” Kelly said.
It is important to note that Bay Area law enforcement agencies are not requiring that you wear an N95 mask. In fact they would rather reserve these for health care workers and first responders.
However you can wear a typical bandana just as long as it covers your nose and mouth to prevent any possible spreading of the coronavirus.
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