Marin Threatens Fines Up To $10K For COVID-19 Health Order Violations

A waiter pours wine during dinner at Galatoire's Restaurant on May 22, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Photo credit Sean Gardner / Getty Images
By KCBS All News 106.9FM and 740AM

Marin County's Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance Tuesday that covers possible fines for violating state or county orders on everything from face coverings to operating an Airbnb.

"This ordinance now gives us one additional tool for enforcement by allowing us to issue penalties or fines for violations of orders," Marin County Spokesperson Laine Hendricks said.

An example of a violation would be a business that’s not enforcing mask wearing by employees. Another no-no that could result in a $500 fine is illegal operation of short-term rentals or vacation rentals, like an Airbnb.

"The majority of Marin residents and businesses are complying with our public health orders during this pandemic, but there’s been an increasing need for stronger enforcement," Marin County Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis said in a statement. "Ending this health emergency will take a sustained team effort, and our goal with this action is to hold people accountable for actions that jeopardize public health."

Businesses found operating when they are not allowed to could also lead to fines.

That includes bars, restaurants and shops.

"The size of the penalty will really vary depending on the nature of the violation and if this is a first-time offense or if this is a repeat offender," Hendricks added.

The fines range from $25 to $500 for noncommercial health code violations. For commercial violations, they could be anywhere from $250 to $10,000.

The ordinance covers all of Marin. A task force comprised of several Marin agencies will collaborate with city and town leadership to focus on local business violations.

Marin was added to the state's watch list on July 3.