Lack of stay-at-home order enforcement in Butte County as COVID-19 cases and deaths surge

Butte County Sheriff's Office and the City of Chico say they will not enforce the state's stay-at-home order. They are leaving it up to the community to follow the guidelines, but with no enforcement, it means some do not.

Posted: Dec 24, 2020 2:32 AM

CHICO, Calif. - Despite Butte County, and the Greater Sacramento Region being under the regional stay-at-home order, some businesses and others are knowingly choosing to ignore the restrictions.

The city of Chico and the Butte County Sheriff's Office said they will not enforce the stay-at-home order,

They're leaving it up to the community to take precautions against COVID-19, but no enforcement means some people don't.

The state's stay at home order completely shutdowns all dining options, both indoor and outdoor, but, Casa Ramos in Chico had customers eating inside, and is open for dine-in against the stay-at-home order.

Action News Now spoke with the manager of Casa Ramos off camera, all employees are wearing masks and you are required to wear a mask until you can be seated at your table. All tables in the restaurant are spaced apart to account for social distancing. They are also following sanitizing protocols.

"Across the state and in our county, day after day, more and more people are getting admitted in the hospitals, more and more people are having to be cared for in intensive care units," said Butte County Public Health's Dr. Robert Bernstein over the phone.

Butte County is seeing its largest increase of COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began. Over 100 cases every day for six days straight.

Deaths in the county have also seen a sharp spike.

"These orders come from the state health department. The orders are to the owners and operators of facilities in which people are gathering," said Dr. Bernstein. "Those are the individuals who need to carefully consider whether or not to adhere to these orders."

Still, Action News Now spoke with the city of Chico code enforcement, they say fining restaurants is their absolute last resort.

Instead of enforcing the order, the city is issuing a quote educational campaign to businesses.

Butte County Sheriff's Office said now that even as cases surge, they will not enforce the state's stay-at-home order.

They said they encourage everyone to adhere to the COVID-19 guidelines like wearing your mask and staying socially distant.

"The best thing would be that people accept these facts. They're facts!" said Bernstein. "The best thing would be that people accept them and stay with their families and not engage in these behaviors."

Action News Now reached out to the Chico Police Department to see if they'd reconsider enforcing the stay-at-home order, they have yet to return our calls.

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