City of Scranton implements mask complaint procedure

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) The City of Scranton announced Thursday a new procedure for reporting a business that is either not requiring employees to wear masks or face coverings or not requiring customers who enter to wear them.

On July 1st, Governor Tom Wolf issued an order that anyone outside their home who cannot socially distance must wear a mask. This extends to employees who do their jobs near other people and customers who enter businesses and other places. Scranton says in order to make sure this order is followed for the safety of the public, they are implementing a complaint system to report non-compliance.

According to a press release:

“This policy is issued pursuant to the authority granted to the commonwealth and to the City of Scranton under the Disease Prevention and Control Law of 1955, which makes the commonwealth responsible for the prevention and control of communicable and non-communicable diseases, which authorizes the Commonwealth to issue rules and regulations to accomplish purposes of the law, and which authorizes the City of Scranton to enforce compliance with the law.”

Scranton Office of the Mayor

The new system consists of 4 steps. The first step, upon receiving a complaint of non-compliance about a business, is that the city will send them a letter outlining the masking policy and notifying them of the complaint.

The second step, upon a second complaint, will result in a city health inspector or Scranton Police Department officer visiting the business to inform them of the order and note any additional violations they observe.

The third step, in the case of any additional violations noted by an inspector or officer during another visit, the owner of the business or establishment may receive a citation for a summary violation of the law quoted above. Each person seen not wearing a mask in the establishment counts as a separate violation of the law. Owners charged with this violation will have a right to a hearing with the appropriate magistrate and, if convicted, may be subject to a fine between $25 and $300 plus costs and the cost of possible imprisonment in county jail (the city says imprisonment can be no more than 30 days).

The fourth step, in addition to any of the previous steps if a company does not enforce the order, is the loss of licenses they may have for operation of their business and any insurance that covers their business or liability from civil penalties.

For more information, you can visit the Scranton City website.

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