Face Coverings a Must to Combat COVID-19

By: David J. Canepa San Mateo County District 5 Supervisor, dcanepa@smcgov.org, 650-363-4572

By: David J. Canepa San Mateo County District 5 Supervisor, dcanepa@smcgov.org, 650-363-4572
If we want to stop the deadly COVID-19 virus then we must continue to wear face coverings in public.
The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution I cosponsored urging face covering compliance and gave direction to staff to develop a community outreach plan. Currently, violations of the order can currently be charged as a misdemeanor with associated fines up to $1,000, according to the state Dept. of Public Health and Gov. Gavin Newsom.
If you don’t wear a face mask and practice social distancing during this pandemic, then you are putting the entire community at risk of the coronavirus. I’m not interested in putting anyone in jail but there must be some consequences to violating this order.
We are developing a community outreach plan to urge compliance but if that doesn’t work we may have to take it a step further and start fining people. We’ve made a lot of progress in opening the economy back up but if we see a surge in cases and hospitalizations then we may suffer another crippling economic lockdown.
In other news, the board also created a $2 million relief fund for immigrants economically impacted by COVID-19.
Why?
Because they do not qualify for federal assistance. They do not qualify for unemployment. They do not qualify for any of the stimulus. But here in San Mateo County, our immigrant community and the work they do are essential.
They care for our children.
These are hard working families, many of whom have lost work due to this pandemic.
This funding will support 1,000 to 2,000 individuals financially impacted by the pandemic.
This is another example of compassion this board has shown to protect our immigrant families during this crisis.
The relief fund has been seeded with $5 million from local developer and philanthropist John A. Sobrato, plus $1.7 million from additional private donors. The County’s $2 million contribution comes from Measure K, the voter-approved, countywide half-cent sales tax extension.
David J. Canepa serves on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors and represents Brisbane.