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November 29, 2023

County issued $115K-plus in fines for Covid-19 guideline compliance

Authorities issued 181 violation notices during Black Friday weekend

Eli Walsh, Bay City News

Santa Clara County issued more than $115,000 in fines over the weekend to businesses failing to comply with local COVID-19 health guidelines, county officials said.

The county’s Business Compliance Unit visited 427 business sites and issued 181 violation notices during the Black Friday weekend, amounting to at least $115,000 in fines.

According to the county, that total may increase until the cited businesses rectify the violations.

“As cases and hospitalizations continue to rise to new record levels, we need everyone in the community to do their part to protect the health of the community,” said Michael Balliet, the director of the county’s Business Compliance Unit.

County officials warned prior to Thanksgiving that the Business Compliance Unit would be stricter about issuing citations and fines during the weekend, typically a busy period of holiday shopping. 

The county normally allows businesses up to 72 hours to fix issues of compliance, absolving them of the fine. 

The three most frequent violations cited over the weekend were failure to submit a social distancing protocol to county health officials and failures to post signage indicating social distancing protocol and maximum capacity.

Fines issued ranged from $250 to $3,750, according to the county. 

Residents can report issues of compliance with local health guidance at

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