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LA Sheriff To Fine $300 For Not Wearing A Mask In Public

Shoppers, wearing masks to protect themselves from the  coronavirus, shop on Santee Alley in the Garment District in downtown Los Angeles this week.
Genaro Molina
Los Angeles Times via Getty Imag
Shoppers, wearing masks to protect themselves from the coronavirus, shop on Santee Alley in the Garment District in downtown Los Angeles this week.

As new cases of the coronavirus continue to rise in California, one Golden State sheriff's office announced on Wednesday that it would impose a fine of $300 on people caught in public without a mask.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department West Hollywood Station stepped up enforcement of an order from California Gov. Gavin Newsom, saying in a Facebook post that it would issue citations that come with a $250 fine and $50 in fees.

California is currently logging around 6,094 new cases per day, an 85% increase from the same figure two weeks ago.

"The COVID-19 infection rate is moving up in California," Capt. Edward Ramirez said in the post. "The Governor has recently issued an Order for everyone to wear a face cover/mask while in public. West Hollywood Sheriff's Station has been educating people about face covers/masks since the first Order... Our last option was to conduct enforcement by issuing an Administrative Citation, but the risk to Community health is too great."

Officials of several other states have made orders similar to Newsom's. Pennsylvania called for all residents to wear masks when they leave their homes; Oregon Gov. Kate Brown required that people wear masks in indoor public spaces. Other states with mask mandates include North Carolina, California, Nevada, Rhode Island, New York, Delaware, Connecticut, New Mexico, Illinois and Washington.

While West Hollywood made it clear that they would enforce Newsom's mandate, some sheriffs offices in other states aren't enforcing mask wearing — including one in North Carolina and several in Kansas.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Austin Horn is a 2019-2020 Kroc Fellow. He joined NPR after internships at the San Antonio Express-News and Frankfort State-Journal, as well as a couple stints in the service industry. He aims to keep his reporting grounded in the experience of real individuals of all stripes.
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