The Carson City Council Tuesday approved a directive mandating residents and visitors wear a face mask covering their nose and mouth when going outside. However, the city council did not approve the proposed $1,000 fine.
“By ordering it and mandating it and imposing a fine on those who do not, we’re hoping to lower the curve,” Carson Mayor Albert Robles had said earlier in the day.
The Carson Disaster Council ordered wearing face masks be mandatory, with the directive going into effect Monday. The city council’s vote was being completed to add force to the ordinance--though that force was a bit unclear without the threat of a fine.
“I’m 61 years old. I’m in that range. I can’t afford to get sick,” said resident Robert Casarez.
Carson has 99 cases of coronavirus, according to its mayor. That’s more than neighboring Torrance, which has twice the population. The mayor says he doesn’t know why, or the severity of those cases, because the county hasn’t provided that information. But he says the mask requirement was necessary. City workers also have their temperature taken before entering any city building.
“Sometimes we don’t like people to tell us what to do, but this is a life saving thing. So we definitely must do this,” Carson resident Charles Mason said.
Most of the people observed in the city Tuesday were already complying, many with homemade masks. Benny Benjamin, an Instacart shopper, said he’s grateful for the mandate.
“I think it's a good thing,” he said. “You make sure people are protected -- protect yourself and protect others.”
Robles said the law’s enforcement will begin when “masks are readily available” and he expects to cross that threshold next week, when thousands of masks will have been made by a local manufacturer, to be given out to those who don’t have them.