reopening the bay area

Sonoma County Sheriff Says He Will Stop Enforcing Stay-at-Home Health Order

The sheriff in a Facebook post criticized the county's health order and said he will stop enforcing it starting June 1

The sheriff for Sonoma County says starting Monday his department will no longer enforce the county's stay-at-home public health order.

In a statement posted on Facebook Thursday, Sheriff Mark Essick said in part the curve of coronavirus cases has been flattened, and testing has verified the infection rate in the county is under control and decreasing.

"Based on what we have learned, now is the time to move to a risk-based system and move beyond blanket orders that are crushing our community," Essick's Facebook statement said. "As your elected Sheriff, I can no longer in good conscience continue to enforce Sonoma County Public Health Orders, without explanation, that criminalize otherwise lawful business and personal behavior."

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors released the following statement late Thursday:

"It is with disappointment that the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors found out today about the Sheriff's decision to not enforce our local Health Order. While we acknowledge the community’s frustration with the situation and a desire to return to some normalcy, the Sheriff’s message has had the unfortunate effect of creating confusion in our community. Over the past ten weeks, the County has taken unprecedented measures to protect the health and well-being of every community member against COVID19. We know that all of our efforts have successfully minimized the spread of COVID19 and saved lives. The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors stands behind the decisions of our Health Officer and thanks all members of our community who have and will continue to follow the health orders to keep our community safe. Good night everyone!"

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