Sheriff Gore outlines stepped up enforcement of public health orders. Image from livestream

Calling the coronavirus pandemic a “runaway train,” San Diego County officials on Wednesday announced stepped up enforcement of public health orders before the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Right now this pandemic is a runaway train that is barreling across our nation, and across our state, and across our county,” said Supervisor Greg Cox. “We need to slow it down.”

Cox said San Diego Sheriff‘s deputies would be enforcing the health orders, adding that both county District Attorney Summer Stephan and San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott have pledged to prosecute violators.

He said the enforcement would target “egregious violations” of the orders restricting indoor business activities and requiring masks to be worn in public.

“Those who flaunt the public health orders, those who refuse to wear masks and facial coverings, are just prolonging the misery,” he said.

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said deputies would join county officials in delivering cease-and-desist orders. He said violations can be reported by calling (858) 694-2900 or emailing SafeReopeningComplianceTeam@sdcounty.ca.gov.

Sheriff Bill Gore said four teams of two deputies each have been assigned to the effort. He said five cities have agreed to assist, but deputies are prepared to serve orders in any city that doesn’t comply.

“The bottom line is, wear those damn masks out there and socially distance,” Gore said.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.