SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones says his deputies won’t be out to enforce the statewide mask mandate handed down by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday.
Still, Sheriff Jones says his deputies will be complying with the mandate to the extent feasible and urged citizens to do the same.READ MORE: 3-Car Crash On I-80 In Natomas Blocks Lanes Friday Morning
“However, due to the minor nature of the offense, the potential for negative outcomes during enforcement encounters, and anticipating the various ways in which the order may be violated, it would be inappropriate for deputies to criminally enforce the Governor’s mandate,” Jones said in a statement on Friday.
Jones noted that deputies will continue to take an educational approach to enforcing the mask order.
The mask mandate came down as confirmed coronavirus cases in California have spiked in recent weeks as the state relaxes its stay-at-home order.
Back in May, Sheriff Jones was among the voices who called for the state to start reopening its economy.
“It is time to let people out of their houses and responsibly open the economy, to let businesses thrive and employees and former employees get back to work,” Jones wrote in May 6 Facebook post.READ MORE: Teen Missing In Sacramento River After Rescuing Younger Brother Identified As Ahmir Watson
California is now into phase 3 of its reopening process. Many businesses that closed at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic – like barbershops, salons, casinos and stores not considered “essential” – have started to reopen – with many changes to stop the contagion.
Infection numbers had been leveling off leading up to the accelerated reopening in California. However, public health officials have since started sounding the alarm about a new spike in cases.
On Wednesday, more than 4,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases were recored in the state – a new single-day record.
The concerning numbers prompted Gov. Newsom to act.
“Simply put, we are seeing too many people with faces uncovered – putting at risk the real progress we have made in fighting the disease,” Newsom said.
Some businesses had put mask requirements in place, while a handful of municipalities had similar mandates in place for wearing face coverings in public.MORE NEWS: Placerville Group Looks To Recall Nearly Entire City Council
Now, all Californians are being required to wear masks.