Temecula, CA asked in Criminal Law, Civil Litigation, Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for California

Q: What can you be charged with if you do not wear mask per the June 18/20 CDPH Guidance on "must wear face coverings"?

The California Department of Public Health issued a GUIDANCE on June 18/20 stating that "People in California must wear face coverings..."

- Is a GUIDANCE the same and an Order or a Law?

- Can police enforce this guidance?

- What can you be charged with if you do not choose to wear a mask?

1 Lawyer Answer
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Newport Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: The new orders issued yesterday and today from the Office of the Governor now create a state-wide mandate for the use of masks in public places. This means if you are over 2 years old (because if you are under 2 you cannot read the Order) you have to wear a face mask, waiting in line to enter a public area- like a market, restaurant, WalMart, Costco, movie theater or any other area open to the public. There are certain exceptions if you have a medical excuse. Previously it was up to Counties to issue orders, but there WAS TOO MUCH NON-COMPLIANCE.

PUNISHMENT- yes, you can be cited by Police or Health Authorities. It can be a MISDEMEANOR (not just an infraction) under the Health and Safety Code regarding communicable disease prevention and control and you could be hit with fines from $50 to $1000.00 plus jail time no longer than 90 days, or both.

REASONING- Despite the feelings of many people, this is not an issue of free speech, or a political issue, it is a public health and public safety issue. It has been scientifically proven that wearing a face covering drastically reduces the transmission of droplet borne diseases. (Which is why you see medical people wearing them working in operating rooms, in every movie and TV show ever made, they also wear latex gloves, too.) The mask does not provide YOU with protection, it protects everyone else FROM YOU. The virus measures 0.0125 microns and rides on droplets as small as 1.0 micron. Masks and HEPA air filters can filter particles as small as 0.3 microns. A person can be breathing out COVID viruses without having any symptoms. This is not politics, it is science.

In 1940/41, the citizens of London had to wear masks every day and at night during the blitz because the dust and debris in the air was toxic and caused respiratory problems if inhaled. There were no mass protests.

It is inconvenient, it can be uncomfortable, but if you can save ONE life, isn't it worth it?

BTW- being on a ventilator is not just having that oxygen tube under your nose, they put you out because it is extremely painful to have tubes inserted into your trachea and lungs to vacuum out fluids collecting in there, and to have your breathing forced by a machine. This is why you hear that most people on a ventilator are in a Coma.

Thanks for asking this question. I hope this helps you appreciate the public service you are doing by wearing a mask, I thank you for it for myself and all the others you come into contact with.

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