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Will City Council Push For Mask Wearing Enforcement At Meeting?

Patch logo Patch 7/14/2020 Liz Spear
a person riding a bicycle on a city street: The City of Manhattan Beach is moving closer to enforcement of mask wearing. © Liz Spear | Manhattan Beach Patch The City of Manhattan Beach is moving closer to enforcement of mask wearing.

MANHATTAN BEACH, CA — The time may have come for Manhattan Beach city officials to find a way to enforce the state's mask mandate. As COVID-19 numbers continue to increase in the city and throughout the state, Gov. Gavin Newsom's latest order yesterday to again close many businesses may have spurred a deeper need to rethink mask enforcement.

"Due to the increase in cases and the lack of compliance, I believe we need to have enforcement past the 'voluntary state,' unfortunately," Manhattan Beach Mayor Richard Montgomery told MB Patch. "Facial coverings and social distancing rules need to be addressed as the ramped-up city outreach has not produced the results we wanted." He said City Council and the city's police chief "are discussing enforcement options related to facial coverings."

Whether any of those options are put before City Council tonight during their regular meeting will be seen. Previously, Mayor Montgomery has encouraged individuals to report maskless customers or store staff to managers or other store staff to ask for compliance. He and council member Steve Napolitano have long felt "personal responsibility" was the message that should be put forth. In fact, the city's new campaign to combat COVID-19 promotes just that. Banners and metal signs with "Our Community, Our Health, Our Responsibility WEAR A FACE COVERING" now hang and are posted citywide.

RELATED: Manhattan Beach Launches COVID Campaign For Mask Wearing, Safety

Said council member Hildy Stern, "We are getting clear guidance that physical distancing and wearing face coverings are the most effective steps to take to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus and yet we are still seeing non-compliance with these simple mandates. We have been struggling with enforcement of physical distancing and wearing face coverings throughout the entire course of this pandemic. It is pretty clear that people are now choosing whether or not they will comply. Without incentives or consequences, I don't see that changing. While I am encouraged by efforts like the 'Safe In the South Bay Pledge' and all the messaging that is pushed out, I do feel we need to do more. We should continue to consider opportunities to affect compliance and think more creatively about ways to enforce these imperative mandates."

RELATED: 'Safe in the South Bay' Aims To Help Community Navigate COVID-19

RELATED: Manhattan Beach Businesses Take 'Safe in the South Bay' Pledge

The Manhattan Beach City Council meets virtually tonight beginning at 6 p.m. A page on the city website details how to submit questions and several ways to tune into the meeting online and by phone. COVID-19 discussions tend to take place near the start of the meeting.

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