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Governor Newsom: “Strike Teams” to enforce California public health orders

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With the number of reported coronavirus cases spring in cities around the state and with the Fourth of July Holiday weekend fast approaching, Governor Newsom Wednesday detailed new enforcement efforts aimed at getting Californians to follow his public health orders.

“Enforcement is a difficult one.  I’m not naive about that and I’m not polly-annish about that,” said Newsom. 

The Governor announced that “multi-agency strike teams” based in 6 regions around the state, made up of representatives from 7 state agencies, will all work to ensure compliance with orders.

The agencies include Alcohol and Beverage Control, CAL OHSA, the Department of Business Oversight, the Department of Consumer Affairs, and the CHP.  The state board for Barbering and Cosmetology will also be involved. 

“We want to educate, we want to encourage, we want to give people time to come into compliance.  This is the spirit we are brining to enforcement efforts,” said the Governor. 

News Channel 3 contacted the Indio office of the CHP to find out how their officers might be involved in the statewide strike teams.

A representative told us they had not yet received guidance from the Governor’s office.

The Governor says the strike teams will target “non-compliant” work places.

He also made the point that local counties do what he calls “their fair share” of enforcement and provided financial incentive, saying $2.5 billion in state funds is “contingent on good behavior”.

“So we want to reward good behavior and we are not here to be punitive,” said Newsom.

News Channel 3 contacted Brooke Federico, the Public Information Officer for Riverside County with questions regarding what county personnel might to enforce public health orders.

This is Federico’s written response:

“As described today by the governor, counties are expected to enforce the governor's orders. As such, the county continues to enhance local enforcement efforts. The efforts include a business ambassadors team to provide specific business guidance. In addition, the Department of Environmental Health (DEH) will reach out to eateries and bars.

The county counsel's office may also contact businesses if they are not following the governor's orders. The county also coordinates with cities on local enforcement.

The county's code enforcement department only has jurisdiction in unincorporated areas and does not have jurisdiction within cities. However, the DEH does have jurisdiction within cities as the county's permit agency for food and beverage establishments.”

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Tom Tucker

Tom Tucker is a veteran broadcast journalist with nearly 20 years of experience. Learn more about Tom here.

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