The Connecticut governor will sign an ordinance Tuesday to hit people where it hurts – in their wallets – if they put the public at risk by refusing to wear masks to prevent the spread of Covid- 19 curb.
Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia mandate the wearing of masks in public, but Governor Ned Lamont’s orders make Connecticut one of the few states that fines those who fail to do so. As of midnight Thursday, residents could be fined $ 100 if caught violating the mask mandate.
Prior to Lamont’s orders, the only way for Connecticut police to punish those who ignored the mask mandate was to accuse them of an offense that was deemed unduly punishable, state chief operating officer Josh Geballe told the Hartford Courant.
“Not really much has been done because a lot of people saw it [a misdemeanor charge] as excessively hard if you don̵
In addition to providing a “new tool” for law enforcement, Lamont’s order also provides for nationwide uniformity for enforcement of mask mandates, Geballe added.
Cities like Simsbury, for example, had already fined $ 250 for mask violations or physical distancing.
“It kept coming up to the point where we thought it was appropriate,” said Geballe.
Lamont’s Executive Order also provides for a $ 250 fine for attending indoor events with more than 25 people or large outdoor gatherings with more than 100 people. And people who organize these unauthorized events will be fined $ 500.
Does it actually work to impose those hefty fines if you don’t wear masks?
Brian Higgins, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and former Bergen County, New Jersey police chief, said he wasn’t so sure.
“People still don’t stop accelerating because there are fines, people still don’t stop at stop signs because there are fines,” Higgins told NBC News. “I think it will have some impact, but I think it will still be difficult to get through.
“Here’s the problem,” he said. “Technically speaking, you should only wear masks if you cannot distance yourself socially. So it becomes a verdict for anyone who does the enforcement. There is also this movable scale. People see masks enforced in one place and not another. “
The result is widespread confusion about when and where to wear a mask that makes some people angry and less cooperative.
“I see the extremes all the time,” said Higgins. “I see people walking down a wooded path all alone with masks on. I see people who don’t want to wear masks in crowds. In my house the rules are the rules and we obey the rules. “
Polly Price, professor of law and public health at Emory University in Atlanta, said fines could be effective for some people, “following the same theory that speeding tickets hinders speeding, and fines hindering seat belt use and other traffic safety issues promote.”
“So the mere possibility of a fine may induce more people to comply than would otherwise,” she said.
But Price said she was doubtful that handing out fines was “a good use of police time”. She said what could be more effective is adapting the current “no shoes, no shirt, no service” concept for many stores and other indoor spaces to include masks.
“But shopkeepers have to be willing to face non-compliant customers, and local police have to be willing to answer ‘trespassing’ and disruption calls,” she said.
Other jurisdictions outside of Connecticut have also proposed or imposed fines on those who violate mask mandates.
For example, while California doesn’t have a statewide penalty for not wearing a mask in public, some local governments have imposed their own fines. And in Illinois, Governor JB Pritzker’s emergency rule, which would fine companies up to $ 2,500 for failing to enforce mandatory masking rules, survived a challenge posed by Republicans in state law.
Connecticut was hit hard in the early days of the pandemic when it was focused on the northeast and has reported 4,485 deaths out of 54,895 confirmed cases of Covid-19, according to the latest figures from NBC News.
New York City commuters who refuse to wear masks on the subway, bus, and other trains will be fined $ 50.
While Connecticut was able to flatten the curve, the state’s positivity rate rose again over 1 percent to 1.2 percent in the past few days as more colleges and schools reopened. This is what Lamont said in his decision to sign the new executive order.
But in general, Lamont said on Monday, “I think the numbers are still going in the right direction.”
The same couldn’t be said elsewhere as the United States continued to report thousands of cases and about 800 additional deaths every day, while the total number of deaths from the pandemic rose closer to 200,000.
In the seven months since President Donald Trump privately told reporter Bob Woodward that the coronavirus was “deadly stuff,” the US continued to lead the world with 195,866 deaths and over 6.5 million confirmed cases, according to NBC News figures Tuesday showed.
Trump has denied lying to the American public about the severity of the pandemic, but according to Johns Hopkins University Covid-19, the US is currently responsible for more than a fifth of the 929,444 deaths worldwide and a fifth of the more than 29.3 million cases Dashboard.
Most new deaths and cases continue to be caused in the Southern and Sun Belt states, which reopened at Trump’s insistence in May as the worst pandemic was imminent. Lately sparsely populated Midwestern states like South Dakota are also on the rise, where a fierce motorcycle rally took place in the city of Sturgis last month that left the 400,000 with almost no physical distancing or wearing masks -day festival.
In other coronavirus news:
Most Americans trust, according to the latest NBC News | poll SurveyMonkey Weekly Tracking doesn’t match Trump’s statements about the development of a potential coronavirus vaccine. Fifty-two percent of adults say they don’t trust the president’s vaccination comments, 26 percent said they do, and 20 percent fell into the “unaware” category. But most Republicans continue to trust Trump on this issue despite making numerous predictions about when such a vaccine would land. Most of them are far more optimistic than the predictions made by scientists and public health officials.
The drastic lockdown New York City imposed in the spring when the pandemic hit the city has “helped reduce the transmission of Covid-19 by around 70 percent,” according to a new study by scientists at Columbia University Mailman School Public Health and the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. “The widespread use of face coverings contributed an additional 7 percent reduction, and a reduction of up to 20 percent in those 65 and over in the first month was mandatory in public places,” the researchers concluded. Currently, the infection rate in New York City is below one percent, and the city has slowly started reopening restaurants and other venues, albeit with limited capacity. As early as March and April, New York and the rest of the Empire State were the nation’s hot spot, and thousands died while public health officials tried to figure out how to contain the crisis. New York still leads the nation with 33,886 deaths – most of them since the pandemic began.
- For the first time in its 175-year history, Scientific American magazine approved a presidential candidate. And it’s not Trump. The venerable publication cited the president’s bad pandemic as one of the reasons he goes against tradition and supports Democrat Joe Biden. “The evidence and science shows that Donald Trump badly damaged the US and its people – because he rejects evidence and science,” the editors wrote. Trump had not developed a national strategy to contain the crisis and repeatedly lied to the Americans, they added. “His lies encouraged people to engage in risky behavior, spread the virus further, and created wedges between Americans who take the threat seriously and those who believe Trump’s lies,” they wrote.
- The Covid-19 death toll related to a Maine wedding that was held at an indoor venue in violation of state attendance restrictions has now risen to five, and the total number of infections is now over 175. None of the five The deceased attended the August 7 wedding or reception at the Big Moose Inn Cabins and Campground in Millinocket, about 70 miles north of Bangor. But one of the guests was an employee of the York County Jail, which has 72 cases linked to the congregation, health officials said.
- Most of the children and adolescents who died of Covid-19 were black, Hispanic or suffer from underlying diseases, the federal centers for disease control and prevention said in a new report. The researchers came to their conclusion after taking a closer look at the cases of 121 children and teenagers who died from the coronavirus between February 12 and July 31. Obesity and asthma were the most common underlying diseases. And 75 of the patients were Hispanic, Black, and Native American / Alaskan Native Americans. Dr. Rishi Desai, who did not participate in the report but is a former CDC infectious disease officer, said it did not surprise him that most of the deaths were minority children and adolescents. “What was somewhat surprising was that it wasn’t even close,” he told NBC News. “The difference was noticeable.”