CENTRAL COAST, Calif. (KION) State officials announced Thursday that a limited stay at home order will go into effect Saturday for counties in the purple tier of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy.
This includes Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties.
Between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., non-essential work and gatherings will not be allowed, and the order will remain in effect until 5 a.m. on Dec. 21. State officials say it is the same as the stay at home order issued in March, and it is part of an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 by limiting gatherings.
Since the order was announced, law enforcement agencies on the Central Coast have released some information about how they plan to enforce or educate.
The Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office said in a statement that they already have a noise ordinance in place starting at 10 p.m. every night, so they will continue to respond to large gatherings. They said they hope to use education to increase compliance with orders.
"Our deputy’s role will be very similar to what it has been for most of this year. Our focus will be on large gatherings. There is already a county noise ordinance that goes into effect at 10 p.m., getting calls for parties after that point in time is nothing new. We will respond to calls for these large gatherings to educate and hopefully gain compliance for those crowds to disperse and take enforcement action if necessary. Our goal is to help mitigate the spread of COVID 19 where we can. There has been a surge in cases recently and ICU beds are full – so we are asking people to take that into consideration, take precautions and keep their safety in mind as well as others."Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office
In Watsonville, police shared how they will handle enforcement, saying violations will be handled on a case-by-case basis, but there may be delays because calls for service are prioritized.
"It is important to work together to keep our community safe during this pandemic and we expect Watsonville residents to adhere to the requirements. Officers will evaluate each order violation on a case-by-case basis and take appropriate action as necessary. These actions may include providing education, giving a warning, issuing a citation, or forwarding the incident to Santa Cruz County health officials for follow up. As a reminder, police calls for service are prioritized, which may cause delays in our response. This order is meant to help reduce community spread, protect individuals at higher risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19, and prevent the state's health care delivery system from becoming overwhelmed."Watsonville Police Department
They Monterey County Sheriff's Office told KION that they only plan to educate people about the order and shared reminders of how to stay safe during the pandemic.
"As always, Sheriff Bernal encourages everyone in Monterey County to be responsible in preventing the spread of Covid-19. Wear a mask in public, practice social distancing and wash your hands. In response to any kind of curfew or restrictions, the Monterey County Sheriffs Office will continue to respond to calls to immediate threat to life and public safety."Monterey County Sheriff's Office
Salinas police said in a statement that they support education, but officers may also issue citations.
"The Salinas Police Department is very sensitive to the pandemic emergency the State of California is facing. In light of the new curfew directive received by the Office of the Governor, it is our commitment to our community to maintain the safety of our residents.
"Police officers have discretion when issuing citations. We support an approach of education and cooperation.
"We also confide in YOU, our community, to do its part for the safety of all."Salinas Police Department