Wear a face covering or pay up: Deputies to issue $300 citation for non-mask wearers in West Hollywood

Refusing to wear a face covering in West Hollywood could cost you $300 in fines and fees beginning Thursday.

Officials announced Wednesday that Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies with the West Hollywood station will issue a $250 fine and $50 fee for first-time offenders.

RELATED: Stay up to date on all coronavirus-related information

"Beginning this month, we will start issuing Administrative Citations for people who are not conforming to the Order to wear a face cover/mask in public," the West Hollywood station said in a tweet. "Our last option was to conduct enforcement by issuing an Administrative Citation, but the risk to Community health is too great."

The station said they will start enforcing the policy immediately. But they say giving citations isn’t their main goal, they just want to help educate and hand out masks. 

“Our deputies who are in the field are not going to arbitrarily look for people without masks. This will be a special team of deputies who are going out and talking to folks, educating them, persuading them, and hopefully either get them to put on a mask or take one of the masks we’re giving them, in the event we don’t have to write them a citation,” said Capt. Ed Ramirez with the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station. 

This comes in the midst of a coronavirus surge in Los Angeles and two weeks after California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a statewide mask mandate for most indoor spaces.

RELATED: Newsom orders Californians to wear masks in most indoor spaces

Some of the exemptions those who are hearing impaired, children under 2, and those with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing a mask.

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