Today the LA County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion to enforce public health rules by imposing fines on businesses found to be out of compliance with protocols set forth by County Health Officer Orders and the Department of Public Health guidelines. The motion, authored by Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Janice Hahn, calls for imposing a fine the first time businesses are not compliant and, in the case of repeated non-compliance, pulling business permits. Tens of thousands of restaurants, bars, retail stores, gyms, and other businesses in Los Angeles will be covered by the motion.
During the last weekend in June, Department of Public Health inspectors found that 49% of bars and 33% of restaurants were not adhering to physical distancing protocols indoors; and workers were not wearing face masks and face shields at 54% of bars and 44% of restaurants.
“The recent spike in cases and hospitalizations is very, very serious and jeopardizes our ability to care for people who get sick,” said Supervisor Kuehl. “This motion says, ‘Business owners, please take this seriously. You are part of our community. Act responsibly, and if you won’t, we will take action. The first time we will fine you. The second time, we will shut you down.’”
Supervisor Janice Hahn, co-author of the motion, added, “We want every business to reopen safely. We had hoped we could rely on voluntary compliance, but it is clear we will need to enforce the health orders. We think it is time to give the Department of Public Health the authority to fine or even shut down businesses that are not complying with the health order and I urge business owners to take all necessary steps to protect their workers and customers and avoid any of these consequences.”