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KC Public Health: Enforcement unclear on CA mask mandate


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Kern County Public Health Director Matt Constantine said he is waiting on the state to provide direction on enforcement regarding the state’s mandate requiring Californians wear face coverings in public or high-risk settings.

“The state has not provided the county with any detail about how they plan on enforcing this order,” Constantine said at Monday’s press briefing.

Following the press briefing, KGET reached out to the CA Department of Public Health.

“This is a statewide requirement and flows from the same legal authority as all of the other state orders,” Ali Bay of the California Department of Public Health said in a statement. “Californians have done incredible work following those orders – saving lives in the process. We expect that will continue to be the case,” the statement continued.

This guidance is enforceable if necessary as a misdemeanor carrying a potential financial penalty and other penalties, according to DCPH. For example, state agencies like CalOSHA may take action.

For now constantine says the position of the county will stay how it has been — encouragement and reinforcement, but not enforcement.

“Our position at the county level will remain the same. We expect our community and businesses to comply, as they have — done a great job,” Constantine said.

“That said, if we need to help focus some of our efforts,our education, and awareness in certain areas, we’d be happy to do that. We’ll figure out how to do that to make sure our community is safe, but it’s just going to be an ongoing process.”

Constantine said he’s seeking some direction from the state, but added he will continue to meet with state officials.

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