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SLO County Sheriff, District Attorney respond to state's COVID-19 orders

Posted at 6:45 PM, Dec 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-08 21:46:40-05

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson released a statement Tuesday on Twitter in response to the state's latest Stay at Home Order.

San Luis Obispo County was placed under a Southern California Regional Stay at Home Order on Sunday night, requiring the closure of salons, theaters, wineries, bars, museums, zoos, and playgrounds and adding additional restrictions to other business sectors.

It also requires Californians to stay at home as much as possible to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

In his statement, Sheriff Parkinson says that the sheriff's office will continue to "focus on significant criminal matters" and will not be stopping people to find out where they're going.

He called for voluntary compliance from the community and businesses and said the sheriff's office will not "criminalize people who are trying to preserve their mental, physical, and financial health."

Also Tuesday, San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow issued a statement saying, "Families and businesses in our county are struggling to keep their head above water and survive financially. There is no sense in labeling a business owner or a business as a criminal for choosing to keep their business open in a manner that adequately protects their customers - who, by the way, are not being forced to enter their business."

He was responding to a question from an editor at The Tribune, who asked about potential criminal charges against Kennedy Club Fitness, which has continued to operate indoors against state rules.

He said that instead of filing criminal charges against the business, he discussed with city officials taking civil administrative action, such as issuing fines.

On Tuesday, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors joined Santa Barbara and Ventura counties in issuing a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom and state health officials requesting that the three counties be allowed to exit the state's Southern California Regional Stay at Home Order and create a new Central Coast Region.