Deputies to cite those not wearing masks in West Hollywood; 1st offense carries $300 fine

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A person with a mask crosses an empty street in West Hollywood during stay-home orders on March 31, 2020. (VALERIE MACON / AFP / Getty Images)

A person with a mask crosses an empty street in West Hollywood during stay-home orders on March 31, 2020. (VALERIE MACON / AFP / Getty Images)

Sheriff’s deputies in West Hollywood say they’ll begin fining people spotted without a face covering in public.

The violation carries a $300 price tag for first-time offenders, including a $250 fine and $50 fee, the sheriff’s station said in a tweet.

Deputies said enforcement begins this month, indicating it is effective immediately.

The fine will be issued as an administrative citation, meaning it will not result in a criminal record.

“Our last option was to conduct enforcement by issuing an Administrative Citation, but the risk to Community health is too great,” officials wrote.

Local jurisdictions have been given leeway to decide how — or if — they’ll enforce the statewide mask mandate issued June 18. The order allows for fines and other penalties, including possible misdemeanor charges.

Face coverings have also been required in Los Angeles County since May 14.

The orders have largely gone unenforced with punitive measures. The West Hollywood station is the only in the county Sheriff’s Department to institute a citation, and L.A. Police Department Chief Michel Moore previously said he didn’t plan to issue fines.

Some people are exempt from the mask orders, including children aged 2 and under, those who are hard of hearing or need to communicate with those who are, and people who have medical, mental health or developmental disabilities that prevent them from wearing face coverings.

People dining at restaurants and cafes don’t have to wear face coverings while they’re eating, provided that they can keep at least 6 feet away from others, according to state officials.

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