I very much appreciate the Letter to the Editor from S. Harvey in Graeagle (“Where is the local leadership”; December 23, 2020) and offer the following comments in an effort to help clarify Plumas County’s position on enforcement of the Governor’s emergency orders.
Understanding the emergency directives set forth by the Governor have been less than clear (terms such as guidance and order have been used interchangeably, though one carries the force of law… orders have been followed by public statements indicating legal enforcement should not occur, etc) and often changing, we have taken the following approach with noncompliance…
Complaints about noncompliance of Covid orders are routed through Plumas County’s Covid hotline (staffed by the Public Health Department) at 283-6400. Initially, the person, business or entity in noncompliance is contacted by Public Health (or Environmental Health in certain circumstances). The effort is to educate on not just the law but why certain acts are being proscribed for the health of our community. Should this effort fail the matter is referred to myself and the Sheriff. Again, efforts are continued to educate and encourage compliance. Should those efforts fail and the violator be set on continuing to break the law, we will move towards enforcement which can be occur with the filing of a criminal complaint, lodging a complaint with the appropriate state licensing agency or lodging a compliant with CalOSHA. Again, our efforts are to educate and encourage with enforcement occurring as a last resort.
We appreciate this is a very difficult time for our businesses and, especially, those who have been infected with this wretched virus. During this past summer, with our infection numbers being negligible, Covid seemed like a problem for other parts of the state and country. Now, Plumas County faces an alarming number of infections which, in some cases, have led to hospitalizations and even the deaths of those in our community. Under these circumstances and knowing we are mere months from widespread vaccinations, it is crucial we double down on our efforts to avoid this virus and make sure the safety of our citizens is local government’s number one priority. I have every confidence Plumas County will rise to the occasion by wearing face coverings, avoiding gatherings and otherwise following the directives of our public health officials. In the event a person is set on endangering others by breaking the law, even after our best efforts to educate and encourage, we will take the necessary steps to uphold our laws and safeguard our community.
Plumas County District Attorney