San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa plans to introduce an ordinance at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday that would impose fines for those who violate COVID-19 health orders like not wearing a face covering in high-risk settings.

Currently, those who violate the state’s health order could be punished with a misdemeanor, with fines up to $1,000 and a potential jail sentence of up to 90 days.

Under Canepa’s ordinance, individuals can be fined $100 as an administrative infraction, $200 for a second violation and $500 for additional violations. Businesses can be fined between $250 and $3,000 per violation depending on the gravity of the violation, prior warnings, efforts to comply or intent to profit.

Canepa believes it’s time to “double down” on mask compliance, according to a news release from his office. He said the ordinance decriminalizes violations but still enforces compliance.

“If we want to return to normal and save lives then we must wear face masks, it’s that simple,” Canepa said. “But since many continue to thumb their noses at or do not understand these mandates, we must step up our outreach and enforcement efforts and let people know if you violate the law there will be consequences.”

San Mateo County was the last Bay Area county to be added to the state’s COVID-19 monitoring list last week for having a rolling average of more than 100 cases per 100,000 for 14 days. Since the state has been on the watchlist for three consecutive days, businesses such as hair salons and fitness centers now face additional restrictions.

The urgency ordinance is co-sponsored by Board President Warren Slocum.

Other Bay Area counties like Contra Costa, Marin and Napa have adopted similar citation structures, which fine individuals up to $500 and businesses on a sliding scale based on the extent of the violation.

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors meeting is planned for 9 a.m. Tuesday. The meeting is being held virtually and can be accessed at https://smcgov.zoom.us/j/92143635134 with meeting ID 921 4363 5134.

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(1) comment

Scott McVicker

When the dust settles and we all acknowledge that the response to this flu virus was, without exception, the worst decision in the history of civilization, we will remember those who favored the authoritarian stick (like Canepa). Remember to vote him out as soon as possible. Seek to ignore his childish tantrums/posturing in the interim.

So back to the panic...such as it is being portrayed via the media...which gives those with simple minds the impetus for stick wielding: Go to the San Mateo County Health Department's COVID page. Look at the number of deaths by age. Add up all the deaths in our County of those under 70 years of age. 1+1+9+15 = 26 individuals, right? Were all these people in excellent health or were they already ill with something? (Let's ignore that point for now.) County population estimate from Google = 727,000.

The “dear” supervisor clearly has his knickers in a twist over this deadly pandemic...and demands mask wearing...and strong fines...because of the horrific death total. Would you describe 26 out of 727,000 as horrific? You see now...how, like Elvis, REASON has left the building. As adults..and as American citizens suffering the destruction of our lives, our livelihoods, and the lives of our children and their futures...we must end this fiction.

Open Now / Abierto Ahora / Remove Useless Newsom (The Destroyer)

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