SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. — Law enforcement agencies across Sacramento County will now start enforcing the state’s stay-at-home order with the possibility of fines up to $1,000 or even jail time.
The shift from an “education-based” focus to penalized enforcement is a direct response to a weekend “sideshow” involving more than 100 cars and some 300 people in South Sacramento on Sunday.
According to a press release from the Sacramento Police Department, the new enforcement actions will be taken on those who are “clearly” putting the health and safety of the community at risk.
“We know that the vast majority of our community will continue to comply with the Public Health Order, and an educational approach will still be effective,” said Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn. “This move towards limited enforcement addresses those that blatantly put the community at risk by engaging in obvious violations of the Public Health Order.”
In addition to the sideshow, Hahn said officers from all around the county have also been called to break up large house parties and other gatherings.
The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office will join in the enforcement effort along with law enforcement agencies in Elk Grove, Citrus Heights, Folsom, Galt, Rancho Cordova, Sacramento County Parks Police, Fulton-El Camino Parks, and the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office.
“It is important for folks to understand that all of Sacramento law enforcement is united in our desire to keep our communities safe, and in our willingness to enforce the order against unreasonable violations,” Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones also stated.
Violation of the stay-at-home order is a misdemeanor, according to police. Fines range from $50 to $1,000 and/or up to 90 days in jail. Official say they’ll also be looking for repeat offenders and each offense will be treated separately. Those who are found to continually violate the stay-at-home order could get six months in jail and an extra $1,000 fine, according to government code.
Read more about coronavirus from ABC10
According to the CDC, coronavirus (COVID-19) is a family of viruses that is spreadable from person to person. Coronavirus is believed to have been first detected in a seafood market in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. If someone is sick with coronavirus, the symptoms they may show include mild to severe respiratory illness, cough, and difficulty breathing.
Currently, there is no vaccine; however, the CDC suggests the following precautions, along with any other respiratory illness:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
WHY HEALTH OFFICIALS ARE SO CONCERNED
Some people have compared the low overall death toll to the flu's high annual death toll in the United States as a reason not to be concerned about COVID-19, however, doctors and health officials are concerned for three main reasons:
- Some people have built up immunity to the flu, but few have immunity to COVID-19 version of coronavirus.
- Both the flu and COVID-19 are spread by droplets, but COVID-19 might be spread in the air. Scientists are researching exactly how COVID-19 spreads.
- The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public where social distancing measures would be difficult to maintain, like at grocery stores or pharmacies.