Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal would like to remind local residents that the shelter-in-place order that Humboldt County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich authorized early this morning is “the law of the land” and mandatory.
The order is a legal order issued under California law; violating it is a misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine, imprisonment or both.
“Enforcement of these orders will be completed by law enforcement officers,” Honsal said in the press release. “However, discretion will allow for the spirit of the law to be factored in every contact.”
The order requires that all residents stay home except for “essential activities” — going to the store to buy food, pet food, necessary supplies and household items, picking up medicine at the pharmacy and caring for a family member or pet in another household.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a similar shelter in place order to all of California yesterday.
Humboldt County’s specific shelter-in-place order states that all businesses in the county, except essential businesses — healthcare operations and companies working on infrastructure projects, gas stations and stores that sell food, pet food and household products — are ordered to cease all activities except minimum basic operations. (The order allows business to operate if employees are telecommuting from home.) The order will be in effect at least until April 10.
“It is critical for everyone to follow the order to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” the FAQ for the order states.
Read the full press release below:
Sheriff says County shelter in place order ‘law of the land’
Humboldt County’s shelter in place order went into effect at midnight last night, and county residents are expected to stay home if they don’t have something they absolutely must do. The order from Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich is expected to be in effect until 11:59 p.m. on April 9 unless it is extended or rescinded by the Health Officer.
Hours after the county made its announcement, California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a similar announcement encompassing the entire state.
“We recognize that there are minor differences between the two orders, and we understand that it can be confusing,” Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal said. “As of midnight last night, the Health Officer’s Order is the law of the land.”
The Order states that all businesses in the county, except “Essential Businesses,” are ordered to cease all activities at facilities located within the county except minimum basic operations. Essential businesses are strongly encouraged to remain open but should comply with social distancing requirements.
Essential businesses include health care operations and essential infrastructure, gas stations and stores that sell food, pet food and household products such as cleaning and personal care supplies in addition to others. For a complete list of essential businesses, check out the frequently asked questions here.
Honsal said local officials are looking to educate, not punish, as they understand that there is confusion about the precise letter of the law. “Enforcement of these orders will be completed by law enforcement officers. However, discretion will allow for the spirit of the law to be factored in every contact.”
Humboldt County has had one confirmed case of COVID-19. The individual recovered and was released from isolation on Feb. 28, after meeting all conditions for clearance required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
For current information about COVID-19, visit cdc.gov or cdph.ca.gov. Local information is available at humboldtgov.org/HumboldtHealthAlert, or during business hours by emailing [email protected] or calling 707-441-5000.