mask

People who refuse to wear a mask in public spaces as required by state order could now face a civil fine in the city of Bend.

After more than an hour of debate, the Bend City Council voted 4-3 on Thursday to allow police and code enforcement officers to issue a local fine for people who will not wear a mask in public spaces until the county enters Phase 3 or Gov. Kate Brown rescinds her mask order. The order takes effect immediately.

A person could be fined $100 for a first violation, $250 for the second and $500 for the third.

Mayor Sally Russell, who modeled this order after a similar one passed in Santa Monica, California, said she believes having a clear enforcement mechanism can make educating the public more effective.

“This is a pandemic,” Russell said Thursday. “We need to keep our community safe.”

The city’s move follows in the footsteps of other cities looking for ways to get better mask-wearing compliance as COVID-19 cases spike across the nation, according to city attorneys.

Deschutes County has seen a troubling trend upward in the percentage of positive COVID-19 test results in the month of July, said Nahad Sadr-Azodi, deputy director of Deschutes County Public Health.

The city council ratified a travel advisory, which discourages non-essential travel through Labor Day, as well on Thursday.

The civil fines are a step down from what is already on the books for enforcement — Brown’s executive order says anyone who ignores the mask mandate could be subject to a Class C misdemeanor.

A majority of the council supported having some kind of financial consequence to motivate people to follow the order without going as far as charging someone with a crime.

But three members of the council — Bill Moseley, Chris Piper and Justin Livingston — voted against issuing fines, arguing that it was redundant since there are other existing ways businesses could enforce the mask order through kicking customers out or using the misdemeanor in the state’s order.

Moseley also questioned whether issuing fines was a good use of law enforcement’s time.

“Is it more important to use law enforcement resources to enforce this or for human trafficking? Drug addictions in the community?” Moseley said Thursday. “I think they have much better ways to spend their time.”

There was also skepticism about whether fines were needed. Interim Bend Police Chief Paul Kansky in a report to the City Council said the department had not received any calls from businesses asking for help to enforce the mask mandate, and that of 25 businesses he called, none reported issues.

“We’re not seeing the data to suggest that so far,” he said.

The governor’s office has asked that complaints are directed to the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division.

The City Council also voted 4-3 to direct staff to develop other regulations for rentals and hotels aimed at reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19. Some of these regulations include requiring a gap of up to 48 hours between when a party checks out and another checks in, requiring lodging facilities to notify guests of mask and social-distancing measures, and requiring a confirmation of no positive COVID-19 tests within 14 days from a guest with symptoms.

Requiring adequate personal protective equipment for cleaning staff and maintaining a guest log to be used for contact tracing will also be explored.

More specific details are expected to be brought to the City Council to ratify on Aug. 5.

Reporter: 541-633-2160, bvisser@bendbulletin.com

(9) comments

Funding Secured

Human trafficking investigations as the labor off-set is false. Come on.

kindergentlerbend

Look at the Deschutes County COVID-19 rate of infection curve that is posted weekly. It shares the same exponential rate of increase now seen across the nation. It would be the height of irresponsibility for government leaders to ignore this threat to our loved ones. The City Council discussion yesterday was informed and nonpolitical: All 7 Councilors share the same concern about this pandemic now building up steam in our region. I do think that this effort at infraction enforcement might have received unanimous support if only a warning were to be issued for a first offense.

Biden46nov3

Spinn360 has no clue and is in denial ha ha what a joke

Is spinn360 real or a bot? Wake up lol your alone in your thoughts for the most part lol

watch the news look at the deaths and cases Currently!!!!

It’s all real not like fake news from f.x news And the 45 admin

Biden is number 46, and he will restore decency and democracy fast as the American people for the most part won’t except what’s now

and face mask only protect you and others around you and helps stop the spreed. I hope the bend pd fines spinn360 over and over!!! And nov 3 Biden will bring back America again and make it awesome not like the last 3 years of the worst ever in history

As dems fight for the people not for themselves and there pockets and holding on to there seats they won’t keep

Stay safe all do the three things to stay safe until Lloyd the vaccine hits down the road

Social distance

Hand washing

Wear a mask if around others

Like the cdc experts tell us daily to do

And listen to the experts and facts

not fake the fake news And the right that have no clue and don’t care about the people or country or well being of the people and there health but just themselves

See ya nov 3 spinner!!!!!

Spinn360

Poor senile pedo-Joe supporter... If it was a true risk in Bend, then they wouldn't need a city ordinance to ticket people who aren't sick. If it was a real risk people would be dying in the streets already. I hope your echo chamber hasn't led you to believe Hillary is ahead in the polls again. 😉 Trump 2020 🇺🇸❤️

Spinn360

Bend City council should be concerned with their overstep. Look at what Ted wheeler created and how his monster is now turning on him. Think long and hard bend City council.

Spinn360

This is just more nonsense. The Democrats can wish this was a pandemic still.. it is not. No numbers match anything close to a real pandemic. Bend City council better watch out or they'll be added to the list of wicked Democrats trying to remove God given rights; which everyone has the right to defend. The actions needed to be taken for the safety of American citizens can go both ways.

LittleMouse

I'm sorry, what? When did God say thou shall not wear a mask?

Spinn360

Free will. Might want to use it once in a while with free thought. Bend has no serious outbreak.. yet you all cower in fear.. why?

BuckeyeDuck

Pandemic: Prevalent over a whole country or the world. Seems we still are in one contrary to your comment.

Our dear leader has stated it is now patriotic to wear a mask. Most of us have been for hygenic reasons, but hey now I'm a patriot also! You appear not to be. Hygenic or a patriotic that is.

The city council is doing the same thing one does with a puppy that can't stop piddling on the floor. That would be smacking it gently on the nose with a rolled up newspaper until it figures it out. Looks like you might be in for a few smacks Spinn. Do the patriotic thing. Wear your mask and quit whining.

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