O.C. Sheriff: We Won’t Respond to Mask or Social Distance Enforcement Complaints

By Lucy Collins | November 20, 2020 | 2:46pm EST
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

(CNS News) -- Following California Governor Gavin Newsom’s (D) reintroduction of Stay at Home Orders, Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes announced his department would not be “responding to requests for face-coverings or social gatherings-only enforcement.”

Newsom tweeted Thursday that the state would reimplement some of its previous lockdown measures.

“Due to the rise in #COVID19 cases, CA is issuing a limited Stay at Home Order. Non-essential work and gatherings must stop from 10pm-5am in counties in the purple tier. This will take effect at 10pm on Saturday and remain for 1 month. Together--we can flatten the curve again,” the governor tweeted.

Two hours later, Sheriff Barnes responded via a statement put out on Twitter, saying that his department was “currently assessing the action by the Governor” but adding, “At this time, due to the need to have deputies available for emergency calls for service, deputies will not be responding to requests for face-coverings or social gatherings-only enforcement.”

Orange County is currently designated by California to be in the Purple Tier. Purple is the highest, meaning Covid is “widespread” in the county, or having more than seven daily new cases per 100,000 people. In the purple tier, many “non-essential” indoor activities are banned, including religious services.

Ninety-four percent of the California population lives in a purple tier zone, meaning they are subject to the governor’s new lockdown and curfew order.

Orange County is the third largest county in California with a population of more than three million.

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