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Largest county in the US threatens churchgoers with $1,000 fine and 90 days in jail

The county also ordered all residents to wear face coverings when leaving their homes

Photo: Ezra Acayan/Getty Images

San Bernardino County, the largest county in the United States, drastically increased public restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic in an order issued on Tuesday.

The order prohibited public church and other faith-based services, banned "driving parades" that have become popular online, and threatened violators with a $1,000 fine and possible jail time.

The order also formally commanded residents to wear face coverings in public areas.

"In an effort to protect the public from further spread of COVID-19, the County's Acting Health Officer has formally ordered everyone in San Bernardino County to wear a face covering when leaving home," the statement read.

The order recommended that families have their own Easter egg hunts at home.

"Tuesday's order also says faith-based services must be electronic only through streaming or online technology. People may not leave their homes for driving parades or drive-up services or to pick up non-essential items such as pre-packaged Easter eggs or bags filled with candy and toys at a drive-thru location," the order continued.

The order said in addition to a $1,000 fine, violators may also face up to 90 days in jail.

San Bernardino County is the largest county in the U.S. by area and the fifth largest in California by population, with more than 2 million residents. It lies east of Los Angeles and stretches out to the border with Arizona across the Mojave Desert.

The county reported 530 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 16 deaths. The order goes into effect at midnight on Tuesday.

Here's a local news report about coronavirus in southern California:

The Latest: Coronavirus Cases, Deaths Jump Throughout Southern California www.youtube.com

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