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Fewer than 3-dozen El Paso citations issued for face mask violations during pandemic

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Claudia Tristán/El Paso Matters
A woman wears a face mask while shopping in downtown El Paso.

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- Just 32 citations have been issued in El Paso for face covering violations since the pandemic began, according to city data that tracked such citations between mid-March and Oct. 4.

Fourteen of those citations were issued to individuals and 18 of them were issued to workplaces.

All but two of those citations were issued in September and October. Two were issued earlier in April.

A face covering requirement took effect in El Paso in June. City officials mandated that businesses require customers and employees to wear them. The order came immediately after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott made the decision to allow local governments the authority to enforce face coverings.

A lieutenant with the El Paso Fire Marshal's Office said that prior to the governor's order, it was difficult to enforce face coverings in the region. He adds that early on, there were other enforcement focuses for the emergency order.

"When the pandemic first started to come on, a lot of our complaints were geared toward social gatherings and places of residence," said Lt. Robert Jones. "Around the weekends of Easter and Mother's Day. We did have a lot of complaints. That was our primary focus was to go visit these residential locations. We did a lot of citations there."

More than 90 citations were issued for maximum gathering size violations during that same time period.

As it stands in the emergency order, face coverings are required for everyone in El Paso inside a public space, as well as outdoors when social distancing is not possible. There are some exceptions. Jones said citations for activities that violate the order can carry fines of up to $500.

Jones said the task force responsible for enforcement prefers to issue warnings for first-time offenders in the hopes violators won't break the rules again.

"A lot of stuff is changing so we do try to work with community, try to give them a chance to correct any deficiencies that might be going on," he said. "A lot of times, this may be due to a misunderstanding or due the fact that is that it is a recent change or adjustment to which they have not had time to prepare."

You can view the citations that have been issued here by clicking on the updated Covid-19 Enforcement Report.

Madeline Ottilie

Madeline Ottilie is a reporter on Good Morning El Paso and co-anchors ABC-7 at noon.

Comments

24 Comments

  1. Thats 3 dozen illegal citations on innocent citizens. The people did not vote for this absurd policy and LEOs should attend to more serious crimes like J walking down Paisano.

      1. Aren’t you the one that listens to the scientists?? They say masks are not effective. Lockdowns are not effective. The WHO just said so. And unless you have the N95 mask its useless. Of the very few people that I’ve seen wearing masks don’t have that mask. Masks do not prevent the spread. The only one endangering lives here is you, botulism mouth. Yes 20 more days before your period comes. That is if alberto didn’t get to you yet.

          1. I’m more than glad to stay away from shit like you. I guess the WHO and CDC are idiots too, huh? comadre turner.

          1. All libtards listen to is junk science. Real science is why President Trump is alive and fully recovered. Consecutive negative tests now. BTW – My prayers go out to the COVID19. Beat by President Trump.

          1. That’s because you are one of the few remaining real Republicans and you have a sense of decency and morality unlike the followers of the orange buffoon. You also have a sense of responsibility to your neighbors.

          2. We all wear face masks wgere required moron because it is the law. It has nothing to do with your rabid identity politics. You are such an imbecile.

      2. Just a week ago, over 6,000 scientists joined together in signing a petition calling for the government lockdowns to cease. According to experts, the lockdowns were having an irreparable effect on society. While some are in favor, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently changed course on the matter when they told reporters the lockdowns should be avoided.

        Talking to The Spectator, Dr. David Nabarro, the WHO’s Special Envoy on Covid-19, told reporters, “We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus.”

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