California County Threatens $1,000 Fine For Not Wearing Face Mask in Public

One county in California is threatening extreme measures to ensure public safety during the coronavirus pandemic. Riverside County issued a warning to its residents that those who are seen in public without a face mask could face a $1,000 fine.

The recommendation from the CDC to wear face masks in public was a measure taken to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“Failed compliance could eventually lead to a fine,” said Riverside County spokesperson Brooke Frederico, via KCBS. “It’s about saving lives so that we can stop or slow the spread of the disease.”

Despite the threat of a fine, Riverside Sheriff Chad Bianco said that his department will not prioritize cracking down on those without face masks.

“This is a valid order and enforceable by fine, imprisonment or both,” Bianco in a video statement. “However, I need to make it perfectly clear to all residents of Riverside County we will not be setting up a police state and this is not a declaration of martial law in Riverside County.

“If we must respond to violations of this order, our abilities to respond to emergencies and critical calls for service will be greatly impacted.”

The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).

The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.

While a majority of the cases have been detected in the United States and China — with more than 12,900 deaths in the United States which surpasses and nearly triples the death toll of the September 11 terrorist in New York City — it has now reached many countries around the world. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.

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