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Volunteers to patrol streets, help enforce mask mandate in California city

People in a crowd wearing face masks. (Dreamstime/TNS)
December 07, 2020

Volunteers will patrol city streets in Pasadena, Calif., in order to ensure people are wearing masks, and hand out masks to those who don’t have one.

Lisa Derderian, a Pasadena city spokesperson, told CBSLA last week that the volunteers are acting after around 60 signs informing people of mask usage were vandalized or removed in the last week alone. Additionally, the city’s code enforcement officers notified 75 runners on the Rose Bowl loop trail that they must wear face masks.

“This is something that we need to take very seriously, our numbers are significantly increasing daily, hospitalization is going up, the data shows that we’re gonna need to shut down more,” Derderian said.

Failure to follow the rules could end in a citation, ABC7 reported. Code enforcement officers already shut down sports games and other events, CBSLA reported.

“We’re not asking or suggesting, we’re telling them you need to wear a mask,” Lisa Derderian, city spokesperson, said. “A lot of people are cooperating, some ran away from us the other day at the Rose Bowl when they were asked to do that.”

Last Wednesday, health officials ordered a limited stay-at-home order in the city, prohibiting all public and private gatherings involving people from multiple households, excluding faith-based services and protests.

Even with the latest stay-at-home order, Pasadena is the only Los Angeles County city to keep outdoor dining open. Pasadena has its own health department, allowing the city to establish their own rules separate from the L.A. County Public Health Department, which banned outdoor dining last week.

“The City of Pasadena is emphasizing the need for restaurants and patrons to follow all public health protocols in order for outdoor dining to continue,” the city said in a statement. “Pasadena is not the place to come for social gatherings, whether at a home of a friend or relative, a fraternity picnic or a group meal at an outdoor dining establishment — no gatherings are allowed.”

In November, the California Department of Public Health approved additional orders that required all people across the state to wear face coverings outside of their own homes. The order included exemptions like being in a car or eating and drinking and is not mandatory for children under two years old.

Outside of Pasadena, restaurant owners who were forced to shut down following the latest orders took to social media to express their frustration. Angela Marsden, the owner of the Pineapple Hill Saloon and Grill in Los Angeles, posted a video that went viral with nearly 8 million clicks, the New York Post reported. The owner wears a mask throughout the duration of the video.

In the video, Marsden is seen tearfully pointing out her outdoor patio, which was closed in accordance with COVID restrictions, right next to a recently-erected and allegedly approved outdoor dining area for a film crew.

“Tell me that this is dangerous,” Marsden said into the camera while gesturing toward her restaurant’s empty outdoor dining area. “But right next to me, as a slap in my face, that’s safe?” she continued, motioning across the street at a film crew’s almost identical setup.