The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office will not be enforcing the statewide order Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday requiring masks and face coverings in public as coronavirus cases continue to increase in California.
In a statement Friday, the Sheriff’s Office recommended people should be “exercising safe practices” during the pandemic, including wearing masks, but said it would be “inappropriate” to criminally enforce the governor’s order, or target people and businesses for failing to do so.
“Due to the minor nature of the offense, the potential for negative outcomes during enforcement encounters, and anticipating the various ways in which the order may be violated, it would be inappropriate for deputies to criminally enforce the Governor’s mandate,” a statement from Sheriff Scott Jones said.
Instead, deputies will be operating “in an educational capacity” — an enforcement stance that the office has maintained for months with regard to social distancing protocols, even as various health orders locally and statewide have come down in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Sheriff’s Office employees will comply with Newsom’s new order “to the extent feasible,” according to Jones’ statement.
Sacramento County public health officials have observed a recent spike in coronavirus activity, which contact tracers have attributed to large gatherings like parties inside people’s homes where attendees have not worn masks or maintained physical distance.
Source: Sacramento Bee