coronavirus pandemic

Despite Mask Requirements, Usage Varies Among San Diego Residents

The statewide order issued by Governor Gavin Newsom calls for masks in most indoor situations and outdoors when distancing isn't possible.

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Despite the California statewide mandate and San Diego County health facial covering order some San Diego County residents are not covering their face when out.

Last Thursday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced the state is requiring everyone in California to wear facial coverings when distancing isn't possible. Newsom said this was done because many people were not wearing masks in public places.

Since May 1, San Diego County Public Health order requires the public to cover their face anytime you come within six feet of someone who is not a member of your household.

Some residents see it as the new way of life.

"I'm a mask girl," expressed Vieno Castillo at Balboa Park. "I'm just saying nowadays, it's 2020, wear a mask, people."

At Balboa Park on Tuesday for the most part everyone was respecting the social distancing and facial covering rules.

Exceptions for not wearing masks include when walking, running or biking, as long as you maintain your distance. Facial coverings can also be removed when you're seated for dining. Additionally, masks do not have to be worn by children under the age of two or by those with medical conditions that could be hindered by mask-wearing.

"I wear a mask all the time," said Castillo. "But every time I run by someone I go off the sidewalk and we stay the distance from each other."

For others, they simply believe the government should not force them to wear masks.

As for enforcement, it is up to the law enforcement agency of the jurisdiction a violator is within to issue a citation for an up to $1,000 fine or six-months in jail. For most jurisdictions, they encourage voluntary compliance. Departments are attempting to increase awareness among residents rather than issue citations as a first resort,

At restaurants and in businesses, especially where signs are posted requiring patrons have a facial covering on to enter, a patron can be refused service for not complying.

At beaches, law enforcement and lifeguards have encouraged people to practice social distancing and wear masks but have generally not written any citations.

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