Costa Mesa campaign to encourage face-coverings or city may impose fines

With the recent surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, Costa Mesa is part of a county-wide initiative to encourage people to wear masks.“We are begging you, wear your face masks,” says Mayor Katrina Foley. “This is no big deal. It is a simple face covering but it will save people’s lives.

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Not only that, but it will also allow our economy to stay open. I don’t know why Orange County is pushing back against the face mask. It doesn’t make any sense to me. I believe Costa Mesans are doing a really good job.”

In mid-March, Costa Mesa declared a city-wide emergency mask mandate for all essential businesses. In April, the city council voted to make it official. Then in mid-June, Governor Newsom declared a state-wide mask mandate if you’re inside or within six feet of someone outside.

The majority of Costa Mesa residents we met today are all for it.“Whether you die or you just suffer, it is going to be very dangerous and it might have long-lasting implications for your life” says Mayor Foley. “It could change the trajectory of your life. It’s just not worth it. Wear a face covering. That right there will reduce the risk immensely.”

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Those who refuse to wear a face-covering may be fined $100 and the fines go up for repeat offenders.

Costa Mesa police have not had to issue any fines to residents yet and are asking for voluntary compliance. The city has fined businesses $1,000 for violating the order, for instance, being open when the business shouldn’t be or not requiring their workers to wear masks, which is dangerous for both employees and customers.