San Diego State University’s iconic Hepner Hall. Photo by Chris Stone

As San Diego County enters Halloween weekend, public health officials issued cease-and-desist orders to eight addresses around San Diego State University Friday, warning that any parties or large gatherings in violation of public health orders could be slapped with misdemeanor citations.

“We were compelled to take this action because there is a great deal at stake,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer. “Let me be very clear, the region’s livelihood hangs in the balance and is directly tied to our individual and collective actions.”

“We are on the brink of moving to a more restrictive tier. Know that our place on one tier or another is not based on the state’s assessment, it is intrinsically tied to our personal and common efforts. The risk of contracting COVID-19 is increased when we come in contact with individuals outside our households. Every decision each of us makes should be guided by that knowledge.”

Several of the cease-and-desist notices were to private residence, while others were sent to fraternities and sororities.

Several of the addresses are homes next door to one another. According to the county, residents reportedly planned to tear down backyard fences to make one communal gathering area.

According to the California Department of Public Health’s Oct. 9 guidelines, gatherings are to be restricted to no more than three households.

Wooten’s letter stated that failure to comply with the guidelines could result in a criminal misdemeanor citation with a $1,000 fine for each violation.

The organizations and addresses in the cease-and-desist orders include:

  • The residents of 5131 Ewing St.
  • The Kappa Sigma fraternity at 5614 and 6172 Dorothy Drive
  • The Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at 5617 Dorothy Drive
  • The Gamma Phi Beta sorority at 5038 Rockford Drive
  • The Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity at 5035 and 5041 College Ave
  • The residents of 5045 College Ave

All students at San Diego State University remain under a stay-at-home advisory. The advisory began at 6 p.m. Friday and will run through Monday at 6 a.m. University officials said the move was made to discourage students from participating in Halloween events in which physical distancing cannot be done. Students are advised to stay home unless they have an essential need.

— City News Service

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