LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Many people ignored requests to wear face coverings in Riverside County, so now it is mandatory, and those found in violation can be charged a fine of up to $1,000 per violation per day.
A lot of stores have sold out of masks and officials urge that medical-grade masks should be reserved for health care workers on the frontlines, so people are getting creative by making their own face coverings.
The new order went into effect Sunday at midnight.
“It’s about saving lives so that we can stop or slow the spread of the disease,” said county spokesperson Brooke Frederico.
Frederico said law enforcement are focused primarily on educating the public about the importance of wearing face coverings and that they are rushing into issuing enforcement, however, she says that failed compliance could eventually lead to being fined.
Some residents say it’s a precaution that’s important to follow as the virus continues to spread but others say issuing a fine is going a bit overboard.
“I still don’t, you know unless I’m going in somewhere, where I know I have to wear it, I’m not wearing it,” said Christine Hochworth.
The Riverside Police Department says at this point their officers are just issuing friendly reminders if he sees people having large gatherings or not wearing face coverings.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Office, who lost two veteran deputies to coronavirus, said he wants it to be clear that’s he’s asking for people to comply with the order voluntarily.
“We will not be stopping vehicles or setting checkpoints for motorists,” said Sheriff Chad Bianco. “We will not be stopping you while out on a walk with your kids.”
For the latest number of cases in Riverside County, click here.