Irvine Mandate for Essential Businesses to use Personnel Face Coverings, Noncompliance Comes with Potential Fines
Monday, April 13, 2020
Several counties have strongly recommended the use of face coverings, based on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) recent recommendation, and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidance. However, in Irvine and other cities, those recommendations have become requirements as the number of COVID-19 cases has continued to increase. Violation of these practices can result in a $500 fine, daily beginning April 13.
The Irvine City Council held a special meeting on April 10, to confirm the decision of Irvine City Manager John Russo, in his role as Director of Emergency Services, to mandate face coverings and social distancing practices for those businesses that are still in operation during stay-in-place orders due to COVID-19. Specifically, the order on face coverings requires:
- Essential businesses within the City that provide sales of retail goods and/or food and/or banking services—including without limitation, grocery stores, pharmacies, home improvement stores, gas station convenience stores, restaurants providing take-out or delivery services, banks, savings and loans, and credit unions—that remain in operation during the term of this order (“covered businesses”) shall cause their employees to wear face coverings, such as scarves (dense fabric, without holes), bandanas, neck gaiter, or other fabric face coverings. All persons, including essential workers are discouraged from using medical-grade personal protective equipment, such as N95 masks, for non-medical reasons.
- Covered businesses shall, and shall cause their employees to, follow the Social Distancing and Infection Control Guidelines published by the CDC and CDPH. All essential businesses must identify and cause all required measures to be implemented as necessary to ensure social distancing and sanitation at that particular facility. If the measures identified and implemented are not effective in maintaining proper social distancing and sanitation, additional measures shall be identified and implemented, or the facility shall be closed.
Irvine City Council added amendments:
- Strongly encouraging all residents to wear face coverings when leaving the house (no enforcement).
- Recommending that all patrons follow the same guidelines when entering a business.
- Allowing businesses the right to refuse service to customers who do not wear protective face coverings, to protect their workers.
For more information, refer to the Irvine City Council April 10, 2020, Special Meeting Agenda.