Counties unwilling to enforce stay-at-home orders could stop receiving COVID-19 relief funding

February 07 2021 03:30 pm

FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) —  On Thursday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced new stay-at-home order likely coming to regions including Fresno County.

Sheriff Margaret Mims was quick to respond after the announcement, saying “We will not be enforcing any stay-at-home orders.”

She said her department doesn’t have the resources to enforce the order.

“If I showed anybody a list of what assignments and what cases our deputy sheriffs were working, they would be pretty hard-pressed to decide which one should stop what they’re doing to go enforce these COVID rules,” said Sheriff Mims.

But that decision could come with consequences from the state.

Governor Newsom said that if counties are unwilling to enforce the state’s stay-at-home orders, the they could lose their CARES Act COVID relief money.

“If you’re unwilling to enforce the rules, if you’re unwilling to adopt the protocols to support the mitigation and the reduction of the spread of this disease, we’re happy to redirect those dollars to counties that feel differently,” said Newsom.

Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig said the governor shouldn’t play politics with dollars that are vital to the Valley’s survival.

“The specific purpose of those dollars were to be used for personal protective equipment, for testing,” said Magsig. “For the state to step forward and try to withhold money from regions that maybe have a disagreement with the governor on his approach I think is completely wrong.”

Newsom added that they’ve withheld funds before.

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