SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — In the South Bay, authorities are urging people and businesses to abide by the COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home order.

But so far, too many merchants are in open defiance of the order.

Educating residents about the need to stay home and avoid close contact with others during this emergency is giving way to stricter enforcement and violators could face fines.

San Jose is eerily quiet as most businesses appear to be closed. Downtown San Jose seems all but shut down.

Strip malls are shuttered. Parking lots are empty. But still, far too many businesses are not in compliance with the stay-at-home order, says Police Chief Eddie Garcia.

The list goes on but going forward, non-essential commerce will ​be met with stricter enforcement. Police have eight newly organized units that will patrol the city in search of those in defiance of the order.

One sees people on the streets walking dogs or out for groceries but everybody needs to do their part to stop the spread of the virus. Even if it means turning somebody in, says San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.

“To encourage folks, if you believe someone is violating the stay-at-home order from the state or local county authorities, please call 311,” Mayor Liccardo said.

So far, 60 people and businesses, including a gun store, have been warned about staying open in defiance of the order. Beginning Monday, that changes. Violators could face misdemeanor citations.

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