In June, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order that requires all people who are outside of their homes to have a mask on. People in California have been mandated to have a mask on at all times if they are not at home, and that includes wearing one while walking about outside. Supporting Gov. Newsom’s order is Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who has also ordered those in L.A. to be wearing a mask outside their private homes. However, despite these orders, one Los Angeles Councilman says there are too many people in his district who are not adhering to the requirements and are not wearing masks.
Councilman Paul Koretz who represents Bel Air, Westwood, Culver City, Encino, Palms, and South Robertson, says that he sees far too many people walking around his district directly disobeying the mandate. Koretz suggested that there be punishments for those who are not wearing their masks by considering refusal to wear one to be reckless endangerment. Now an L.A. City Council committee is exploring ways to motivate residents to wear masks to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Recommendations include forms of enforcement including the issuing of citations in addition to a public education campaign explaining the need for masks.
Imperial County in California has been negatively impacted by the virus the most in recent weeks. This county, outside of San Diego, is nearing 23% for their test positivity rate over a two-week period. More testing and increased numbers in hospitalization rates from the virus are causing great unease across the state.
Gov. Newsom announced that he is leaving the COVID-preventative restrictions to be decided by officials in their respective counties. However, if these counties are unable to figure out an effective way of getting their residents to wear masks, Newsom said he would intervene. Newsome urged officials in Imperial County to re-issue the stay-at-home order and shut back down.
How Does the Los Angeles Police Department Feel About Mask Enforcement Measures?
Newsom warned the state that those counties that will not comply with widespread maks-wearing will risk losing some of the $2.5 billion COVID-19 funding. The LAPD has tried to stay on the sidelines thus far, hoping that the public would overwhelmingly decide to wear their masks on their own. Police officials would prefer not to have to issue citations and fines to individuals without masks. There were cases reported of incidents in which people were charged with trespassing when they would not use their masks inside a private business.