Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones announced Friday he and his department are refusing to enforce California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s 24-hour old order mandating all residents to wear masks in public – indoors and outdoors – to continue combating the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. The sheriff’s office says “it would be inappropriate for deputies to criminally enforce the Governor’s mandate.”
Here is the Sacramento Sheriff’s Office memo:
June 19, 2020
The Following Is the Official Statement of Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones Regarding Gov. Newsom’s Order (June 18, 2020) for All Californians to Wear Face Coverings While Out in Public Places:
The Sheriff’s Office recommends that everyone continue exercising safe practices, including wearing masks pursuant to the Governor’s recommendation, especially around those in high-risk groups.
However, 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. Accordingly, the Sheriff’s Office will not be doing so. Rather, we will continue to operate in an educational capacity in partnership with the County Health Office.
As for the Sheriff’s Office and its employees, we will comply with the Governor’s mask recommendations to the extent feasible.
Sergeant Rod Grassmann
Acting Sheriff’s Spokesperson
Media continues to claim public health officials attribute a recent spike in coronavirus activity, to “large gatherings like parties inside people’s homes” where attendees have not worn masks or maintained physical distance. They also say Gov. Newsom’s contact tracers are the ones claiming it’s large gatherings.
This is not entirely accurate. The “spike” in “coronavirus activity” is due to an increase in testing, according to immunologists and epidemiologists California Globe has interviewed.