Contra Costa County Looks to Establish Fines for COVID-19 Public Health Order Violations

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According to the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisor Agenda, on Tuesday, they will discuss an urgency ordinance establishing administrative fines for violation of public health orders pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The move comes after the Board of Supervisors directed staff to prepare an ordinance only July 14 to establish administrative fines for violations of the public health orders. The Board determined the ordinance is necessary to augment the ability of the County and other local agencies to ensure compliance with public health orders and combat the spread of COVID-19.

According to the Ordinance No. 2020-21, that establishes administrative fines for violations of health orders issued by the County’s Public Health Officer and the State Public Health Officer. The ordinance authorizes administrative fines for violations of public health orders involving both non-commercial and commercial activities.

For health order violations involving non-commercial activities, the fines include:

  • $100 for a first violation
  • $200 for a second violation,
  • and $500 for each additional violation within one year of the initial violation.

For violations involving commercial activity, the amount of the fine is

  • $250 for a first violation
  • $500 for a second violation,
  • and $1,000 for each additional violation within one year of the initial violation. If a violation continues for more than one day, each day is a separate violation.

The ordinance authorizes enforcement officers designated by the Director of Health Services, the Director of Conservation and Development, and the Sheriff to enforce the ordinance. Because Public Health Officer orders apply countywide, this ordinance also applies countywide under Government Code section 8634. The ordinance may be enforced in cities and special districts by officials designated by those agencies to enforce the ordinance.

The ordinance authorizes enforcement officers to impose a fine by issuing a Notice of Fine to a person or business in violation of a public health order. Before issuing a Notice of Fine, an enforcement officer can first issue a Notice of Violation, which gives a person or business up to two days to correct a violation.

If the violation is not corrected, the enforcement officer can then issue a Notice of Fine. In cases where the enforcement officer determines that issuing a Notice of Violation is unnecessary or ineffective, the enforcement officer can immediately issue a Notice of Fine. If a person or business is issued a Notice of Fine, the fine can be paid or appealed. An appeal is heard by a hearing officer established or appointed by the agency issuing the Notice of Fine.

Staff Report & Ordinance 

D.6CONSIDER adopting Ordinance No. 2020-21, an urgency ordinance establishing administrative fines for violations of public health orders pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Randy Sawyer, Deputy Health Services Director)
Attachments
Ordinance No. 20-21

11 COMMENTS

  1. This board of stupes just continues down the road of incompetence! The county is in financial dire straits, unincorporated areas are a public dumping ground, road shows and lawlessness are rampant. However this band of fat lazy politicians is focusing on strapping an already overburdened police force with writing tickets for not wearing masks that have still not been proven to work!!
    The good news is that most cops wont buy into this bs!! Hey bos , how about working on something meaningful and beneficial to the county for a change!!!

  2. This seems to be stretching authority but not surprising by the current flood of new laws and rules applied unequally between every city, county, and state. Getting cited and being unable to have a jury trial in a courtroom appears to take us another step closer to Socialism and Marxism. There should be uniformity and constitionality that needs to be applied here as rules and laws are being slapped out as fast as they can without respect to everyone’s rights. If done so constitutionally there also needs to be uniform punishment through out the state, not city by city or county by county. This issue is a larger than local situation. There should be state or federal legislation not “block by block” applications.

  3. jg, I agree this is beyond scary totally taking away from democracy. Evil is wrapped all around this including socialism and marxism.

  4. These are not laws but orders. (orders that only pertain to employees of the state or county or municipality….YOU WORK FOR US NOT VICE VERSA ) laws must be processed by both houses of Sacramento and passed and signed by the Governor. Good luck with enforcing these fines. They are illegal and unlawful. EXPECT LAWSUITS TWORDS THE PERSONAL POLITICIANS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT/ JUDICIAL PARTICIPANTS. emergency Health orders are for clinically proven infected persons. not healthy people. We are innocent til proven guilty. at no time in Human history has the entire healthy population been Quarintined and stripped of Constitutional rights as now.

  5. Let’s see them try to enforce it! Any mention of exemption from certain activities like tearing down statutes, looting or throwing a molotov cocktail?

  6. If people were actually adhering to public health and safety protocols (mask wearing, distancing), there would not be a need for such enforcement. If this is the way to make people adhere to public health and welfare behaviors, then I’m all for it.

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