Village News - Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

By Will Fritz
Associate Editor 

What's in the county's stay-at-home order?


Last updated 4/25/2020 at 12:34am

By now, surely everyone knows they’re supposed to remain at home unless absolutely necessary until this pandemic crisis is over, however long that takes.

But what are the rules? What is necessary and what is not?

The actual text of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order specifically directs Californians to “stay home or at their place of residence except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of the federal critical infrastructure sectors.”

And what is actually included in that category is fairly broad.

People are allowed to go to the grocery store or to go to work if they are in an essential career field, of course.

The state of California’s webpage explained the statewide stay-home order and made it very clear that outdoor recreation is still allowed. The caveat is that residents are supposed to maintain a safe distance from strangers on the street.

“So long as you are maintaining a safe social distance of 6 feet from people who aren’t part of your household, it is OK to go outside for exercise, a walk or fresh air,” according to the state’s webpage.

So, going for a jog is perfectly fine. Doing that activity with someone outside of their household, though, is expressly not permitted.

San Diego County has its own order, which states “(a)ll persons are to remain in their homes or at their place of residence, except for employees or customers traveling to and from essential businesses or activities as defined in section 17a, below, or to participate in individual or family outdoor activity as allowed by this order.”

Section 17a, though, sets the definition of “essential business” as being what is described in the statewide order.

How much is the order actually being enforced?

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported April 15 that there had been at that time more than 120 citations issued across the county for violating stay-at-home orders, including 68 issued by the sheriff’s department.

The sheriff’s department notably did not cite demonstrators who were protesting the stay-home order and the closure of beaches and other public places Sunday, April 19. The San Diego Police Department similarly did not make any arrests at a protest in downtown San Diego that involved several hundred people Saturday, April 18.

But both agencies issued a joint statement April 20 stressing the importance of the stay-home orders and other restrictions.

“Although the protests were allowed to take place, we must not forget the public health orders were put in place to protect our communities from the spread of COVID-19,” the sheriff’s department and San Diego Police Department said in their joint statement.

“While no citations were issued at the protests, that does not mean prosecution will not be sought, especially to the organizers of these events. Although these orders have caused great strain to all of us, they are in place to save lives. The San Diego Police Department and San Diego County Sheriff’s Department will continue to enforce the health orders.”

There has been just one citation for violating the stay-home order in Fallbrook, the sheriff’s department told Village News. Details on that incident were unavailable.

Will Fritz can be reached by email at [email protected]


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