Better Mask Up: Face Coverings Now Mandatory in San Jose

Anyone stepping outside in San Jose better mask up.

As of this week, face coverings are now mandatory in the South Bay’s largest city. The rule adopted earlier this week by the City Council mirrors that of Santa Clara County, which enacted its own mandate a few weeks prior.

The San Jose council adopted the requirement—proposed last month by Vice Mayor Chappie Jones and Councilman Sergio Jimenez—in a 10-1 vote Tuesday. District 9 Councilwoman Pam Foley was the only one who opposed the policy.

The ordinance defines face coverings as cloth, shields, T-shirts or other fabrics that masks nose and mouth. Under the new rules, people must wear masks while inside business, obtaining healthcare, engaging in infrastructure work or using public transit.

City Attorney Rick Doyle noted that the main difference between the city’s law and the county’s is that San Jose also requires masks for anyone standing in line at the store.

Denizens will not expected to wear a mask while exercising.

“This ordinance is not going to require you to wear a face cover when you go to your mailbox, when you go hiking or ride your bike or when you’re by yourself,” Jones assured. “It only applies when you’re in a group of people and you’re not a safe distance away from those people that you would be required to wear a face mask.”

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said the new rule is “imperative” to safely reopen the economy. Earlier this week, health officials announced that outdoor dining and indoor retail would be allowed to commence starting Friday. “I really do believe that we’ve got to give everyone every tool possible to insure we can manage and reduce the potential spread that we can get people back to work,” the mayor said.

As for Foley, she explained that while she supports wearing face coverings in public, she had concerns about the policy’s enforceability. “As important as I think a mask is, and how I have my own personal choice about wearing a mask, I’m hesitant to implement another law that the SJPD will have to enforce—even though I know they have said they’re not going to enforce it” she said.

Studies have shown that wearing face covering can lessen the amount of aerosol droplets expelled when a person breathes or coughs. While the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention initially advised against masks for the general public, health officials changed that guidance in early April after finding evidence that the coronavirus can be spread by asymptomatic people as well.

Grace Hase is a staff writer for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @grace_hase. Or, click here to sign up for text updates about what she’s working on.

26 Comments

  1. > City Attorney Rick Doyle noted that the main difference between the city’s law and the county’s is that San Jose also requires masks for anyone standing in line at the store.

    > Denizens will not expected to wear a mask while exercising.

    Why is the government so good to us?

    Do we really deserve a government so good, and so thoughtful, and so caring?

    They’re always just thinking about what’s best for the people.

    I’m starting to get teary just thinking about how much they’ve done for us.

  2. By the way, if anyone cares, the NFL is over.

    Buh-bye, NFL.

    Probably, college football in California, too. Buh-bye, Stanford Indians — er, I mean “Cardinal”. And buh-bye stupid Stanford juvenile “marching band”.
    .
    What is Santa Clara going to do with that great big empty billion dollar Levi stadium?

    I KNOW! A homeless shelter!

  3. Nude face is the new black skin. Cops give you dirty looks, but generally do nothing unless they choose to employ the “useful tool” (law) for selective enforcement. Ordinary people look away or call you names and treat you like dirt.

  4. With the virus cat is out of the bag now, only two things can stop this virus: mass vaccinations of at least 70% of the population, or herd immunity. Everything else is a waste of time at best. They’re just vurtue signaling placebos by a do-nothing Mayor, who wants to be seen as ‘doing something’ after the horse is out of the barn.

    An effective vaccine won’t be available before 2021, and administering at least 250,000,000 jabs will take us at least into 2022. If the Mayor makes these useless face masks mandatory until then, pictures of masked San Jose residents will be featured in other cities News Of The Weird stories by then.

    Contact tracing, face masks, social distancing are witchcraft; panic indulgences that will only delay herd immunity, if that’s what ends up stopping this virus. And that’s the most likely scenario, given the delay in producing and administering an effective vaccine.

    So why not let it run it’s course, while protecting the elderly and those with conditions that make them more susceptible to Covid-19? Everyone else under the age of 70 will be able to deal with this virus like they do with the seasonal flu.

    That’s much safer than predicting the future, which is what Liccardo is doing with his mandatory face masks rule; betting the farm on a vaccine, when the most likely outcome is that herd immunity will stop this virus (or maybe the November election, if Biden manages to stumble into the White House since 90% of this panic is being generated by that unlikely scenario).

    Finally, San Jose has a City Manager that does what the Mayor and Council were elected to do: administer the city. Since the City Manager does that now, why not let her make these decisions?

    If she’s right, the Mayor can claim credit for it like he does for everything else she does that ends well. And if she’s wrong, he’s got a handy scapegoat.

    Win-win!

    That’s a lot less risky than Sam attempting to predict the future, no?

    • “ So why not let it run it’s course, while protecting the elderly and those with conditions that make them more susceptible to Covid-19?“ Because they can. If the ordinance had stayed the way it was originally proposed, SJPD might as well have parked outside our home to warn or fine us. We would have provided plenty of cold water for them and even snacks. This ordnance is unenforceable. It’s only symbolic. What a joke. Enough is enough!

      • It’s all health care theater to convince citizens that politicians and unelected health officials care and are doing something. 50% of the deaths (last I heard 48,000 and growing) are in related to assisted living centers, yet to make *San Jose* safer we should wear a mask outside 6 feet apart because there are so many people who are possibly asymptomatic. Why are the targeted directives not at the high rise population? Every month the fatality rate of infection appears to be less than the previous.

  5. The City Council deliberations over the mask-mandate ordinance on May 19 and again on June 2 make clear that the City of San Jose has no intention of actually enforcing it. Police Chief Eddie Garcia said on May 19 that it cannot be widely enforced and that no other Bay Area municipality is enforcing a similar ordinance. Mayor Sam Liccardo said on May 19 he does not care whether the ordinance is enforced or not, and on June 2 he admitted he had not even read the ordinance.

    If you actually read the ordinance adopted, N-95 medical masks are expressly disallowed but homemade masks using “rubber bands” are allowed.

    Additionally, the City of San Jose has no legal authority to enact a mask ordinance more onerous than that of the County health director. The State of California has authority to combat the pandemic (consistent with the U.S. Constitution), and the County health director’s authority to go further than the State is pursuant to express State delegated authority (again, consistent with the Constitution). The City of San Jose has no delegated authority and is therefore preempted from acting altogether in imposing emergency health decrees.

    This ordinance is not about public health, it’s about virtue-signaling politics.

    • > The City of San Jose has no delegated authority and is therefore preempted from acting altogether in imposing emergency health decrees.

      > This ordinance is not about public health, it’s about virtue-signaling politics.

      Thanks for the explanation.

      Mandating masks when everything is opening up just made no sense.

      I think this illustrates the instinctual behavior of local politicians: “When you don’t know what to do, do something and take credit for whatever good happens.”

  6. I am not bothering with this nonsense. San Jose is so messed up that drug users and looters run throughout the streets without getting arrested.

    San Jose. The slum of Silicon Valley.

  7. The Virtue signaling by our own City Council and so many of our citizens is disgusting.
    Not to mention ignorant, naive, and just plain stupid. How did we end up like this??

    • > The Virtue signaling by our own City Council and so many of our citizens is disgusting.
      Not to mention ignorant, naive, and just plain stupid. How did we end up like this??

      I was just thinking much the same thing.

      It’s as if we are in a “virtue signaling competition” to see who can come up with the most pompous and fervid and blubbering denunciation of “racism”.

      “I’M AGAINST RACISM”
      “I’M MORE OPPOSED TO RACISM THAN YOU ARE”
      “I’VE ALWAYS BEEN AGAINST RACISM IN ALL IT”S FORMS, ESPECIALLY WHITE RACISM”
      “WELL, I’VE HATED WHITE PEOPLE BEFORE YOU WERE AGAINST WHITE RACISM”
      “I HATE WHITE RACISM SO MUCH THAT I HATE MYSELF FOR HAVING WHITE PARENTS! I HATE MYSLF FOR NOT TURNING THEM IN FOR MAKING ME EAT WHITE BREAD”
      ETC. ETC. ETC.
      WASH, RINSE, REPEAT

      It’s hard to acknowledge, but I think the nuclear chain reaction of exploding progressive heads over racism is even more wacko than the EXTRAORDINARILY HEATED COMPETITION IN PURSUIT OF THE CORONAVIRAS “WORST CASE SCENARIO”.

      MY WORSE CASE SCENARIO IS SCARIER THAN YOUR WORST CASE SCENARIO!
      A HUNDRED JILLION GAZILLION PEOPLE ARE GOING TO DIE!
      IT’S WORSE THAN THAT SIX UMPTILLION PEOPE ARE GOING TO DO, AND PETS , TOO!

      People have lost their minds.

    • We ended up like this Work90 because the snowflakes and gulliberals voted for the current office holders.

    • How we ended up like this is the gulliberal morons keep re-electing liberal politicians at all levels of government.

  8. Where can I buy enough masks to compile with this?

    Say all you want about virtual signaling which may be true, I’ve lived in Asia and masks works, as does taking off your sure before you walk into your house, and putting heat sensors at large public transit centers. Social distancing does not.

    Any of you that think masks don’t work can give them to me.

  9. San Jose PD gets a new tool to justify racial and economic profiling .They can harass any one not wearing a mask that they think looks like a criminal..They have used the BOLO stop illegally for years to run as many warrant checks as possible .Santa Clara co.sheriffs have no problem lying about you fitting the description of someone to run your name

  10. Get out! Seriously, this corrupt state is circling the drain and our one party leadership could not care less for the actual working class.

    If you own a home sell it and move to a state that treats you like a citizen rather than livestock.

  11. Please people wakeup! Lets start in our communities, we hurt each other more than racist cops. God help us heal. Stop hurting ourselves. Protest with integrity and honor. Everything else is hate.

    • Gavin Newsom doesn’t listen unless people break windows. That’s the language he understands.

  12. We have a perfect model to test the effectiveness of social distancing in every city where there were large numbers of protesters and rioters, few of whom were practicing social distancing. So, if there are no spikes contact traced to protesters and rioters, we know social distancing is BS.

  13. All these commenters are missing the point. It’s not about the SJPD going around giving tickets to all you naked-facers. It’s more about businesses being able to say, “Get the hell out of my store before you infect it,” and being able to add that it’s also against the law.

    Yes, I’m aware that businesses are able to turn away customers at will, but it’s not always easy to do. This gives them more leverage to say “Get out, you deniers!”.

    Pam Foley also missed this point, but I’m not convinced she’s also a denier like most of the rest of you here.

    • The County of Santa Clara health director’s order already requires face masks while inside local businesses. The San Jose City Council’s ordinance is redundant — and legally preempted.

    • So shop owners can turn away customers at will?

      You might want to check out a certain bakers and florists that have tested this…

  14. Oregon has a population of 4.218 million. My son lives in Oregon. Shelter in place is loosely enforced. Masks are required of restaurant and grocery store workers, but not the patrons, unless the individual store requires it. Many Oregonians won’t patronize stores that require them to wear masks. Freedom of choice. Total COVID desks in Oregon, 159.
    Santa Clara County has a population of 1.928 million. COVID deaths 143, almost as many as Oregon, but only 46% as many residents as Oregon. NO freedom of choice. We are being dictated to by Czarina Sara Cody, despite data that shows her excessive restrictions are ill advised. And San Jose has even stricter rules.

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