City expanding COVID-19 compliance efforts with the addition of “Health Ambassadors”
By Sam Catanzaro
The City of Santa Monica says that since the pandemic began over 40 citations carrying fines starting at $100 have been issued to people not wearing face coverings.
Under City of Santa Monica rules, 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, 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.
For individuals not wearing a mask, the rules set $100 for a first violation, $250 for a second violation and $500 for a third violation.
According to the City of Santa Monica, since mid-March, Code Enforcement has conducted 35,059 business checks, issued 854 warnings and 126 citations. There have been 8,351 face covering checks, 408 face coverings distributed and 42 citations issued.
The stats were included in a press release announcing the expansion of COVID-19 compliance efforts with the addition of “Health Ambassadors” who will focus on safe business operations and face covering education.
The Health Ambassadors will operate six days a week conducting business checks to ensure local establishments have required LA County COVID-19 signage posted, personnel and patrons are wearing face coverings when not eating and drinking, and physical distancing is being adhered to, among other business requirements under LA County Health Officer Orders.
While this team will not be issuing citations, they will assist Code Enforcement staff and Santa Monica Police Department Public Service Officers in special face covering enforcement operations and distribute face coverings.
Costs related to this effort are potentially eligible for FEMA reimbursement, according to the City.