October 26, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Santa Monica Sets Fines for Not Wearing Mask

Order also authorizes businesses to refuse service for those not wearing masks

By Sam Catanzaro

The City of Santa Monica has authorized citations for failing to wear face coverings as part of an effort to control increased spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

On Thursday, Interim City Manager and Director of Emergency Services Lane Dilg issued the 20th supplement to Santa Monica’s local emergency declaration strengthening and clarifying requirements for wearing face coverings and setting penalties for those who do not wear them when required.

“As public health experts have shared widely this week, we are in a dangerous period with dramatic increases in cases and hospitalizations,” Dilg said. “Face coverings are essential. I encourage everyone to try different styles to find what works for you. But it is a critical time to save lives by wearing face coverings whenever we are outside of our homes and not gathering with people outside of our households.”

The supplement authorizes administrative citations for failing to wear face coverings, for individuals, as $100 for a first violation, $250 for a second violation, and $500 for a third violation. For businesses, the administrative citations are $500 for a first violation, $750 for a second violation, and $1,000 for a third violation.

In addition, the order allows businesses can refuse service to any person who does not wear a face covering or fails to comply with social distancing.

“Businesses must also take all reasonable steps to ensure those in line or entering their business wear face coverings and comply with physical distancing requirements,” the City said.

The order, in effect until July 31, clarifies which situations face coverings as required.

  • When individuals are or can be in contact with or walking near or past others who are non-household members in both public and private spaces, including, but not limited to, walking through common areas such as hallways, stairways, elevators, and parking facilities, meaning that a face covering must be visible and ready to be immediately put on whenever a moving person approaches within 30 feet of a non-household member;  
  • When patronizing a business, including while standing in line to enter any business;  
  • When obtaining services from healthcare operations, unless otherwise directed by the healthcare provider; 
  • When obtaining services from and while inside or at any location or facility engaging in essential government functions;   
  • When waiting for or riding on public transportation or paratransit or while in a taxi, private car service, or ride-sharing vehicle; 
  • When driving or operating any public transportation or paratransit vehicle, taxi, or private car service or ride-sharing vehicle when passengers are present;  
  • When participating in an in-person protest; and  
  • When engaged in work, either at a business or off-site (other than at one’s own residence) and (i) interacting in-person with any member of the public; (ii) working in any space visited by members of the public, regardless of whether anyone from the public is present at the time; (iii) working in any space where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution to others; (iv) working in or walking through common areas, such as hallways, stairways, elevators, and parking facilities; or (v) in any room or enclosed area where people who are non-household members are present and unable to maintain a minimum six-foot separation from one another. 

Exceptions under the ordinance or as follows:

  • Persons younger than two years old;  
  • Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a face covering; 
  • Persons who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication;  
  • Persons for whom wearing a face covering would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines;  
  • Persons who are obtaining a service involving the nose or face for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to perform the service;  
  • Persons who are (i) outdoors alone or with household members; (ii) stationary; and (iii) maintaining at least six feet between the edge of the area they are in and the edge of the next closest person’s area;  
  • Persons who are actively engaged in a water-based activity, including, but not limited to, swimming and surfing. 
  • Persons compliant with the County Department of Health’s Protocol for Restaurants Opening for On-Site Dining under which customers who are seated at a restaurant or other establishment that offers food or beverage service are not required to wear face coverings while they are eating or drinking;  
  • Persons wearing personal protective equipment (“PPE”), such as medical-grade N95 respirator or a similar mask that is more protective than a face covering;  
  • Persons compliant with any other reopening protocol issued by the County Department of Health authorizing persons to remove their face coverings.  

Los Angeles County continues to see steep increases in community spread of COVID-19, Public Health says. There are 1,889 people currently hospitalized, 27 percent of these people are in the ICU and 18 percent are on ventilators. This is the largest number of people hospitalized since early May.

On Wednesday, Public Health confirmed 2,002 new cases and 35 new deaths of COVID-19. This is the fourth consecutive day of new cases over 2,000, and today’s number is missing lab reports from one of the larger labs, officials noted.

“I know these closures are frustrating and it is heartbreaking to think we are losing ground. These immediate actions give us a chance to regain control over the increased spread. With steep increases in cases and hospitalizations, it is important to act now to prevent as many future cases, hospitalizations and deaths as we can,” said Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer.

To date, Public Health has identified 105,507 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of LA County, and a total of 3,402 deaths. In Santa Monica, there have been 414 cases and 29 deaths.

in News
Related Posts

Santa Monica School Board Approves Purchases $21 Million Building

October 25, 2020

October 25, 2020

Santa Monica Malibu School Board votes 6-1 to purchase office building at 1717 4th Street By Toi Creel The Santa...

City Council Endorsements: Santa Monica Needs a Change

October 22, 2020

October 22, 2020

Santa Monica City Council endorsements from the Santa Monica Mirror The following are two endorsement articles from Santa Monica Mirror...

Crime in Santa Monica Is Declining: Santa Monica Beat – October, 22, 2020

October 22, 2020

October 22, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Crime in Santa Monica Is Declining * 335 Homeless Residents Housed...

Forma Expanding to Main Street: Westside Food Scene

October 22, 2020

October 22, 2020

Westside Food Scene October 22, 2020 By Kerry Slater Forma Expanding to Main Street Popular Santa Monica Italian restaurant Forma...

California Supreme Court to Hear Santa Monica Voting Rights Case

October 22, 2020

October 22, 2020

Court to rule on future of at-large elections in Santa Monica By Sam Catanzaro The California Supreme Court will determine...

LA County Says Younger Adults and Teenagers Are Driving COVID-19 Cases

October 20, 2020

October 20, 2020

68 percent of new cases among people between ages of 12 and 50 By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles County health...

Santa Monica Has Issued Over 40 Face Covering Citations

October 20, 2020

October 20, 2020

City expanding COVID-19 compliance efforts with the addition of “Health Ambassadors”  By Sam Catanzaro The City of Santa Monica says...

Grand Jury Indicts Former Angel Employee in Tyler Skaggs’ Fatal Overdose

October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

Fort Wayne grand jury indicts Eric Prescott Kay on drug distribution and drug conspiracy charges By Sam Catanzaro A federal...

YogaWorks Studios Closing Amid Pandemic: Santa Monica Beat – October, 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * YogaWorks Studios Closing Amid Pandemic * Carjacking Suspects in Custody All...

Edify TV: More Bike Lanes for Westside

October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

A Westside city is adding more miles of protected bike lanes. Learn more in this video made possible by Santa...

Outgoing Santa Monica Police Chief Set to Receive Nearly $100K of Severance Pay

October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

Santa Monica City Council approves retirement agreement for outgoing chief Cynthia Renaud By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica’s outgoing police chief...

Intravenous Vitamin Therapy: A Natural, Effective Solution for the Flu

October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

By Dr. Mahboubeh Hashemi, ND and Dr. Matthew Cavaiola, ND  As fall and winter are fast approaching, many people, and...

Edify TV: Deal to House Homeless People Near Freeways

October 18, 2020

October 18, 2020

After months of negotiations, the City and County of LA reached a $300 million deal to house thousands of homeless...