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