Mask Enforcement Update and Hotline Reminder
At a special meeting related to rising COVID-19 cases last week, the Bend City Council agreed to increase fines for businesses and organizations not in compliance with Oregon Health Authority (OHA) guidelines on face coverings by increasing the civil penalty for a violation to a Class A civil infraction, which has a monetary penalty of up to $750 per violation. Councilors directed staff to update the administrative order, which was presented for ratification at the regular Council meeting on November 18.
The City of Bend’s Code Enforcement division established a hotline in July to report businesses that are not adhering to the statewide mask requirement. Bend’s mask complaint hotline: 541-323-7155. Callers must leave a message with the following information:
- Business name where the violation took place
- Date and time of the violation
- Description of the violation
- Anonymous calls are not accepted
Violations of the statewide requirement are enforceable locally. Over the summer, the Bend City Council took action to allow Bend Police or Code Enforcement to enforce statewide guidance about face coverings as civil infractions. Here is the press release from July.
In Bend, Code Enforcement generally addresses business violations and Bend Police enforces mask requirements for individuals. Code Enforcement and the Bend Police Department will continue cooperating to address potential violations with the right resources for the situation.
Individuals not following the OHA face covering guidelines in Bend remain subject to a $100 civil penalty for the first violation, $250 second, and $500 for a third violation. In addition to the City’s mask order enforcement, the Bend Police Department strongly encourages community members to comply with the recommendations and with the orders issued by Governor Brown for the two-week freeze period beginning November 18. Information about the Governor’s orders and the most current OHA guidance is at the state website: www.coronavirus.oregon.gov.
The Bend Police Department does not engage in proactive monitoring or enforcement of social or family events at private residences to seek compliance with the limitations on social get-togethers (no more than six persons from no more than two households). However, if Police are at a location investigating an incident and discover that the Governors’ orders are not being followed, Police have enforcement authority.
In addition to the business-related hotline in Bend, there are other ways to report violations, depending on the situation. See this link for how to report other issues or when to call law enforcement non-emergency at 541-693-6911.
Contact: Anne Aurand, Communications Director, firstname.lastname@example.org.