Health officials in Riverside County took bold steps over the weekend, ordering all residents to wear a face covering when out in public. They also banned all gatherings, apart from family members or those living under the same roof.
These new mandates go further than places like LA and San Francisco, which are strongly urging similar safety measures but not ordering them.
“We had previously made it a recommendation, and we noticed that the same number of cases were being diagnosed as if these measures hadn't already been taken,” says Brooke Federico, the public information officer for the Riverside County Department of Public Health. “That's why we needed to make it an order.”
Those who fail to comply will be informed of the order by law enforcement, and could be fined up to $1,000.
Face coverings include bandanas, scarves, neck gaiters or handmade masks. The county is asking residents to save N95 or surgical masks for first responders.