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Bay Area Supervisor: ‘If You Don’t Wear a Face Mask, You Should Be Fined’



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One Bay Area County Supervisor is so fed up with people not wearing face masks he thinks fines are now appropriate.

San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa wrote a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom asking for guidance on how to enforce face mask requirements.

Newsom announced the face mask order on June 18 but did not say how the order would be enforced.

Fines on the Table

“If you don’t wear a face mask, you should be fined,” says Canepa. “Short of going back on lockdown and closing down the economy, wearing a face mask and practicing social distancing is the best we can do to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

“If you don’t wear a face mask, you should be fined.” — San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa

Canepa suggested the first offenses should come with a warning. The second: a $100 fine. The third: a $500 fine.

Letter to Newsom

In his letter addressed to Newsom and State Public Health Officer Dr. Sonia Angell, Canepa expressed his frustration with people not wearing masks. Canepa’s staff sent a copy of the letter to GV Wire℠.

“I too have seen in San Mateo County that many residents still do not wear face coverings in public settings,” Canepa wrote. “I am requesting the state provide a uniform policy to each county on how and who should enforce the mandate and whether a fine structure be implemented to encourage residents to wear face coverings in high-risk settings.”

Governor’s Face Mask Order

“Science shows that face coverings and masks work,” Newsom said in a statement announcing the order last week. “They are critical to keeping those who are around you safe, keeping businesses open, and restarting our economy.”

The order includes several exceptions, including for outdoor recreation and exercise such as walking, hiking, running, or bicycling. But if people are doing such activities and cannot stay six feet apart from others, the state says they should wear masks.

Other exceptions include: Children under 2, people with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing a mask, people who are hearing impaired or communicate with people who are hearing impaired and people obtaining receiving treatments on their nose and mouth. There’s also an exception if wearing a face covering would violate workplace safety guidelines.

People at restaurants don’t have to wear masks when they are eating and drinking as long as they are six feet away from others.