On March 24, San Luis Obispo County launched an enforcement line for residents to report violations of the shelter-at-home executive order.
According to ReadySLO.org, the new enforcement line is intended to keep operating business safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. The line has received more 600 calls in its first three weeks, according to enforcement line manager Matt Jansen. However, only 30 percent of the calls were for valid violations, and zero fines have been levied as of April 10.
“Our goal for enforcement is very simple,” SLO County Sheriff Ian Parkinson said. “We want people and businesses to follow the rules, and that enforcement should be voluntary.”
In an April 3 news conference, Parkinson addressed community concerns regarding enforcement of the executive order and fines that will be put in place.
“Law enforcement is not making traffic stops in the community to ask people where they’re going,” Parkinson said. “Our purpose is to find issues in the community whether that be with businesses or large social gatherings.”
The executive order states that a violation is punishable by fines up to $1,000, six months in jail, or both. Parkinson said these are drastic measures, and that every business to date has complied when asked to adjust their operations.
He said residents in San Luis Obispo County have complied as well. Parkinson also asked everyone to stay patient and adhere to the rules.
Although the executive order states that nonessential travel is prohibited, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends outdoor activity with social distancing.
Access to beaches and parks in San Luis Obispo County is limited, but residents are permitted to hike, run or engage in other outdoor activity as long as they stay 6 feet away from others and avoid gatherings.