Kings County looking to add enforcement to Shelter in Place order

Local News

HANFORD, California (KSEE) – Anyone not keeping their social distance in Kings County may soon face consequences.

The county’s Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted a shelter in place order Tuesday. The order mirrors the already enacted statewide stay at home order. Next week they’ll look at enforcement, including possible misdemeanor charges.

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Supervisor Richard Valle said too many people are still gathering for various celebrations and it needs to end.

“This is an action in hopes of saving lives,” he said, “we felt it was necessary to take it up a notch and hopefully put some enforcement behind today’s actions,” he said.

Valle says the details are still being worked out but now Kings County Sheriff’s Office is looking at possible ways to enforce the order.

“[Next week the Sheriff will] bring back language for the board to consider a misdemeanor violation of the shelter in place in Kings County.”

Board chairman Doug Verboon said as the COVID-19 situation has evolved so have his own views.

“I was resistant several weeks ago. I don’t think we should tell people how to live their lives, but this virus is new to all of us,” he said.

Verboon said he’s not sure how enforcement would work and it may be difficult, but the focus right now needs to be on keeping the community safe.

“My word would be let’s just get through this as fast as we can so we can get back to normal lives,” he said.

Valle said law enforcement needs time on this, but some ideas should be presented next Tuesday.

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