VISALIA, California (KSEE/KGPE) — The Visalia Police Department says they have received numerous non-emergency calls for clarification for the “Stay at Home” order questions, a policy enacted as a means of preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Visalia Police’s Celeste Sanchez says the department still has a responsibility to the public and a community to serve, despite the pandemic.
“Officers have been issued personal protective equipment that they are carrying with them. It also includes masks, extra hand sanitizer, gloves, and at this point all of our officers have the supplies that they need to go out and do their job – and be safe at the same time.
Sanchez says the 911 dispatch center is for emergencies only, and residents with concerns about COVID-19 should contact Tulare County’s non-emergency line on 211 instead.
It comes after a Facebook post on Monday, in which the Visalia Police Department reminded the public that they are not an information source for COVID-19 or Stay-at-Home order questions.
The department says the following concerns have been consistently raised by citizens to the Visalia Police Department.
Court Ordered Child Custody Exchanges- Nothing in the Governor’s Stay-at-Home order prevents child custody exchanges from taking place as required by court orders. Citizens may also travel to and from custody exchange locations. The Tulare County Superior Court – Family Court Services Division can be contacted at 559-730-5000. An automated message will provide instructions on leaving a voice message for their staff.
Curfew- There is not a COVID-19 related curfew order in place or being enforced. The Governor’s Stay-at-Home Order is not a curfew. It is a plea for all Californians to stay at home in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 with exceptions for performing essential activities (i.e.: working in an essential business, going out to secure necessary groceries or supplies, seeking health or medical services, being outside to exercise, etc. and traveling to and from those essential activities) and to follow this order at all hours of the day. For further information about what is considered essential and non-essential, refer to the State of California guidance, which can be found by visiting: Stay home except for essential needs
Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers- The state of California has provided a wide range of identified essential services that require employees to continue to attend work and businesses that can continue to operate. Citizens are permitted to drive to and from work. For more information please visit: Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers
Bars/Restaurants- Bars have been ordered to close. Restaurants are still allowed to provide food for take-out only. The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has relaxed their requirements related to the sales of alcohol from restaurants and will allow businesses to sell alcohol for take-out customers. As a reminder, all Open Container and Driving Under the Influence (DUI) laws are still being enforced by the Visalia Police Department. For additional information, refer to: Alcoholic Beverage Control
Price Gouging: Price gouging can be reported to the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office at 559-636-5410. You can also visit the California State Attorney General at: FAQs about Price Gouging in CaliforniaVISALIA POLICE DEPARTMENT
COVID-19 resource links:
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- World Health Organization
- California Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response
- Fresno County
- Tulare County
- Madera County
- Mariposa County
- Merced County
- Kings County
- Kern County