By Kiet Do

WALNUT CREEK (KPIX 5) — Contra Costa County has launched a task force that will begin site visits and investigating complaints about people not using masks and said it will begin issuing fines for the worst violators.

The county has received 900 complaints about no masks or businesses opening illegally and so far have not issued any fines. But that could soon change.

“The first step is a warning, but if there is an egregious violator, egregious situation, we will fine people,” said Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Scott Alonso.

Fines for individuals will start at $100 and go up to $500, while fines for businesses will start at $250 and go up to $1,000 per infraction.

“We feel like after months and months of this, people should really know the three simple things, wear a mask, be scoially distanced, and wash your hands,” said Alonso.

Upon receiving a complaint, the county will send out an investigator, who will then issue the fine. Violators can request a hearing with the health department and appeal the fine within 30 days.

The DA’s office also wants members of the public to call or email them if they see a violation.

“I don’t believe on using that for, you know, your neighbor or just single people but if an entire business is not following those regulations and you know they have a lot of customers every day that presents a greater threat,” said Walnut Creek resident Austin Simpson. “I think to the community so I wouldn’t feel as bad calling on like a big business or a store.”

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