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COVID: Danville Bowling Alley Won't Enforce Indoor Mask Mandate, Could Face Fines

DANVILLE (KPIX 5) -- One defiant East Bay business owner's refusal to enforce indoor mask rules has led authorities to warn he could be facing fines for non-compliance.

At the Danville Bowl in Contra Costa County on Wednesday, many bowlers and some employees could be seen not wearing masks, despite the recent health order that requires masks be worn indoors again. That health order went into effect at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Danville Bowl
Danville Bowl (CBS)

Customers at Danville Bowl were split over the statement posted on the bowling alley's Facebook page saying operators were aware of the new mask mandate, but did not plan on enforcing it.

Katie Messina has an 11-year-old and decided to come to Danville Bowl Wednesday night to get out of the heat.

"It's hard. It's a hard call. I don't know if I would have come today if I wasn't already here when I found out about it," Messina said.

At 11 years old, her child isn't able to get vaccinated.

"Disappointed. I think that we all should cooperate on this effort and listen to the experts," she explained. "For me, I'm vaccinated, so I'm willing to take a little more chances. But I probably wouldn't be back with my kids until it's mandated for everyone."

Others said the mandates are overkill and businesses should be able to decide what happens inside.

"I think that they should do whatever they think is best," said Danville Bowl customer Jesse Chan.

"The new mask mandate is pretty new and I feel like businesses are choosing to either follow it or not," said customer Miguel Madarang. "And for me personally, being vaccinated, I feel comfortable going. It's up the business how they want to enforce the mandate."

The Contra Costa District Attorney's office said it is aware of the Facebook post and will be sending enforcement officers to Danville Bowl. If those officers find the business is violating health mandates, they'll give the bowling alley a chance to come into compliance before issuing a fine.

"Most businesses want to do the right thing, because they're hurting," said Scott Alonso, Public Information Officer with Contra Costa District Attorney. "We don't want to be putative. We want to try to work with them, educate them, and ensure they can operate safely for everyone."

If the business doesn't comply, they could be fined $250 for the first offense and up to $1,000 per day if they continue to refuse to ask customers to wear masks.

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