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Del Mar increases mask enforcement as crowds fill beaches

Posted at 5:21 PM, Aug 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-15 20:21:54-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — With scorching temperatures across San Diego County, crowds flocked to the beach. While this is typical for a San Diego summer, there is one major difference in 2020.

“We’re very conscious about crowds,” said Encinitas local Jennifer Marakovits.

She and her husband Joe visited Del Mar Saturday afternoon. The two brought their own masks and sat watching the crowds from a distance.

“It’s a matter of life or death and wearing a mask to me, it’s worth it,” said Joe.

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Nearby, a Sheriff's deputy walked around. This is a new addition to the area. Del Mar’s city council voted to spend $20,000 through the next four months to bring in extra deputies to help with mask and social distancing enforcement.

Prior to this decision, one single deputy worked at a time, and with thousands of people visiting every day, the decision was made to help enforce county orders. The deputies will work a few four-hour shifts a week, changing the time, place, and location depending on the day.

The deputy out Saturday afternoon held a stack of informational pamphlets and a box of face masks, which he handed out to anyone not wearing a mask who passed him. The goal is to keep the extra deputy taking educational actions similar to this, however, they could issue a citation that could cost up to $1,000 for a violation. This money would not go to the city, but rather to the county.

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Gustavo Zabala was one of the visitors to get a mask from the deputy. He said he doesn’t like wearing a mask, but accepted one from the deputy and said he would wear one for the safety of others.

“It’s not that I don’t care about the virus, I’m 100% fearless about it and I never wear a mask, but only out of respect for other people I can wear it if I walk into a place,” said Zabala.