Masks are required in California, but how are they enforced?

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The more we move around in California, the more we are at risk. The California Department of Public Health issued a striking warning in a statement on Tuesday saying, "Unless we want to see more suffering and go through another round of closures... It is critical to wear a face covering when you leave the house."

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Dr. Susan Philip with San Francisco Department of Public Health said wearing a mask is like buckling a seat belt, a new habit, that when we are around people not part of our household our faces should be covered. It needs to become automatic.

But how do you make people wear masks and what do you do if they won't?

Some have complained their vet refused to put on a mask in an exam room while another describes a restaurant employee refusing to put a mask on as he handled their food order. At funerals last week in Santa Cruz and in Pinole for two slain officers, many in attendance did not wear face coverings, even inside a theater packed to capacity.

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Heather Cedermaz, a nurse practitioner with Contra Costa public health clinic services, said, "We are not going to expect the police to go out and give tickets and then what do you do? It's really about education."

A check of Bay Area police agencies found there are no citations being issued for not wearing a mask.

Oakland, Concord, San Jose, and Berkeley all said they have thus far issued zero citations, asking instead for voluntary compliance.

Cedermaz advises, "You need to look at the person next to you, if they are not wearing their mask, you need to look at them as if they are patient zero and do what you need to do to protect yourself. "

Dr. Philip came up with this way to motivate someone not wearing a mask - "If we are just excited about moving forward in society and continuing to reopen, the best chance for us to do that is for us to wear a face covering and decrease ongoing transmission."

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