San Diego County votes to step-up enforcement of businesses defying health orders
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – After months of lockdowns, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors has approved several COVID-19 measures, including stepped-up enforcement of businesses not complying with restrictions, and a fair and consistent application of policies based on scientific data.
On August 4, 2020 the Board of Supervisors considered three enforcement options and selected the lowest level of compliance enforcement. The new, Democrat controlled, Board of Supervisors reviewed those same enforcement options and chose to adopt all of the options that were originally presented last August.
Supervisor Joel Anderson added to this effort that the county ensure “fair and consistent” application of all enforcement and transparently share the data surrounding the spread of COVID-19 that is the basis for efforts to slow transmission of the virus. Supervisor Nora Vargas added that to the extent allowable by law, businesses that blatantly continue to violate public health orders, not be eligible for county assistance programs.
The full scope of the compliance team now includes:
- Inspections Responsive to Complaints
- Egregious cases in violation of state and county public health order
- Operation prohibited under public health order
- Conduct Proactive Inspections (Added Action on 1/12/21)
- Distribute Citations for Violating Safe Reopening Plan (Added Action on 1/12/21)
- Businesses not in compliance with public health orders will not be eligible to receive County relief funding, as is legally possible (Added Action on 1/12/21)
Enforcement on entities should be fair and consistent with science and data that is available (Added Action on 1/12/21)
Supervisor Jim Desmond voted against the measure, saying that he believes “all business sectors should have the opportunity to open and operate safely. The action also includes restricting relief funds to businesses.”
Desmond has been the lead advocate in opposition of implementing lockdown policies, explaining that the government should not pick and choose which businesses.
On the other hand, Supervisor Nathan Fletcher is championing the stepped-up enforcement of the public health orders.
Supervisor Fletcher released a statement saying the enhanced enforcement reaffirms “our commitment to slowing the spread of COVID-19 here in San Diego County by expanding the scope and commitment of enforcement by our County’s compliance team.”
To date, 335 cease and desist orders have been issued by the County of San Diego Safe COmpliance Team. within a few weeks two-thirds of violators come into compliance, but one-third remain in violation.