While a statewide order requires all residents to adhere to social distancing practices, law enforcement in Sacramento won’t perform unwarranted stops.
The stay at home orders followed the rapid expansion of confirmed COVID-19 cases in California. The outbreak struck the west coast hard, likely due to the trade connection over the Pacific to China. Washington and California take second and third place respectively for states with the most diagnosed cases.
As a result, city and county officials enacted stay at home orders, barring all non-essential travel. Shortly after Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced his, Governor Gavin Newsom instated an executive order for the entire state.
However, despite the requirements to stay home, Newsom expects Californian to adhere to the policy without the need for law enforcement. Over the weekend, he urged people to act appropriately during the public health crisis. “Be a good neighbor. Be a good citizen. Those young people that are still out there on the beaches thinking this is a party time — grow up,” he said.
Though, he went on to say hikes and dog walking were permissible activities. Just use common sense, he said. “If you see a busy street, don’t run down that street. Again, use common sense.”
Law Enforcement Take Hands Off Approach
Currently, his executive order remains in effect indefinitely. The hope is that social distancing measures “flatten the curve,” or reduce the number of daily new cases. Once health officials indicate the outbreak no longer presents a threat to the public, state officials will lift the order.
In the meantime, law enforcement across the state hope not to need to interfere. For example, in Orange County, law enforcement intend to take an educational approach rather than issue citations.
In Sacramento, Police Chief Daniel Hahn addressed questions about the role of law enforcement in the capital. He said no officers “are making traffic stops or stopping individuals solely for the purpose to determine if they are essential workers or if they have some sort of paperwork. Our officers are simply not doing that.”
As long as Californians obey the order, health officials predict an end to the outbreak and therefore the mandatory self-isolation.