ENHANCED ENFORCEMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH ORDERS
The Town of San Anselmo joins Marin cities and towns along with the County of Marin on a program of enhanced enforcement of public health orders to help curtail the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. A new multi-jurisdictional task force consisting of County personnel along with staff members from each of the 11 Marin cities and towns is being assembled to conduct enforcement efforts county-wide.
The Marin County Board of Supervisors enacted an urgency ordinance at their meeting on Tuesday, July 21st that created new civil penalties for violations of orders issued by County Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis. Efforts will focus on business violations, but jurisdictions will have discretion to enforce where they see the greatest risk to public health in their communities.
Spike in Cases
With a recent spike in confirmed COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, Dr. Willis advocated that it’s necessary to recruit assistance to enforce the rules and stem the outbreak of the infectious disease. Wherever appropriate, informal intervention and education will be used as the method of choice to encourage voluntary compliance with public health orders. The new administrative penalties will provide an additional tool where education and warnings are not effective.
For information about Health Orders still in effect for Marin County, please click here: https://coronavirus.marinhhs.org/stay-home-order-effect-marin-county
The civil penalty for noncommercial health code violations related to COVID-19 will start at $25 and will ascend to $500 based on the severity of the violation. For commercial activity, fines will range from $250 to $10,000. Factors determining the size of a penalty include risks to public health, previous warnings, lack of good-faith efforts to comply, and increased revenue generated from noncompliance.
A task force – including Community Development Agency Code Enforcement, Environmental Health Services, the Sheriff’s Office, and the County Counsel’s Office – will collaborate with city and town personnel to focus on violations. Those authorized to issue citations for public health code violations include public safety officers (law enforcement and fire), code enforcement officers, park rangers, and any other employees designated by the Town or the County. They may enforce the public health code by inspecting public or private property and fine anyone obstructing the code enforcement. The designated officers may provide up to 72 hours for a violator to abate an issue and avoid penalty. The County will initiate a centralized hearing process for the administrative civil penalties.
The updated status of businesses and industries reopening in Marin County can be found at MarinRecovers.com. Additional details about the Governor’s directive can be found at COVID19.CA.gov.