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Santa Rosa police warn enforcement action if people don’t follow stay-at-home orders

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SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KRON) — In the North Bay, people are not following stay at home orders, according to Santa Rosa police.

Now the department is warning they may have to take enforcement action if people don’t comply.

When Sonoma County issued mandatory shelter in place orders last month, Santa Rosa Police Department’s first steps were to educate the public about what businesses are essential and what’s not.

“Just try to make the public aware of how serious this virus is and how easily it could be spread,” Sgt. Summer Gloeckner said.

Sgt. Gloeckner is supervising the police department’s business compliance team, aimed to make sure non essential businesses are following public health orders.

The department tweeted a warning to take enforcement action to protect the city’s vulnerable population and essential front line workers.

“We’ve had different complaints from smoke shops to some small convenience stores, things like construction sites,” Gloeckner said.

Sgt. Gloeckner says there’s also been complaints about gathering in parks. And if police see any large crowds not practicing physical distancing, they’ll be sent home with a warning.

As of Thursday, Sonoma County has more than 100 COVID-19 cases.

County public health officers say while the numbers increase, 52 people have recovered.

“We’re doing some really intense contact tracing,” Dr. Sundari Mase said. “We’re finding out who had contact with our cases and following them really closely are testing them all. People who symptomatic and asymptomatic.”

County officials say they’ve been prepared for the coronavirus outbreak due to devastating wildfires and public safety power shutoffs but residents should continue to adhere to warnings.

The last thing police want to do is issue a citation.

“Some cases the owners would rather risk it and leave their businesses open and risk a warning or a citation just so they can make some money during these hard times and understand that,” Sgt. Gloeckner said. “But again we have to follow the public health orders so we’re going out there doing our job to try to make sure that they’re in compliance.”

Since Sonoma County has issued the stay at home order, Santa Rosa police has issued warnings, no citations and a majority of the non essential businesses has closed.

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