Racine to begin enforcement of Safer Racine, face coverings ordinances

RACINE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The city of Racine announced Wednesday, Oct. 28, that they will begin proactively enforcing both the Safer Racine and mask requirement ordinances.

Enforcement has been compliance-based until now. 

The city says as COVID-19 cases surge, a proactive strategy has become necessary. 

“Unfortunately, COVID-19 cases continue to surge locally, in the county, and in the state as a whole. We are seeing numbers equal to or greater than what we saw last April. As we enter the holiday season we run the risk of losing complete control of the virus without significant changes to individual behaviors. Many businesses and individuals in the community are taking this virus incredibly seriously, doing what they need to do in order to stay safe, and we are very appreciative of that. At the same time, there are some in the community who could do better or who are simply refusing to do their part,” said Dottie-Kay Bowersox, public health administrator for the city of Racine.

Bowersox says moving forward, health department staff and the Racine Police Department will begin compliance inspections. 

According to the mayor's office, Racine has seen 635 new confirmed cases in the last 14 days and a 5-day average positive test percentage of 27% as of Oct. 26. The city's case rate, or number of new cases per 100,000 residents over the past 14 days, is nearly 800. 

Racine County also continues to see a significant spike in cases, with 1,556 new confirmed cases over the past two weeks. 

Both the Safer Racine ordinance and the city's mask ordinance can be found at www.racinecoronavirus.org

Violations of the ordinance come with a forfeiture of up to $250.

If individuals are found to be in violation of the mask ordinance on first conviction the forfeiture is $25, followed by $50 upon a second violation, and $100 for a third. 

The city says upon conviction, the owner or operator of any business, organization and non-profit entity found to be in violation of the mask mandate shall forfeit no less than $50 and no more than $500. Additionally, the city attorney and city clerk are authorized to pursue license revocation for any business licensed by the city of Racine for failing to comply.

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