San Francisco police issue zero citations for violators of order to stay at home

Officers focus on educating citizens to remain indoors amid coronavirus outbreak

San Francisco police have not cited anyone for violating the local shelter-in-place order requiring residents to stay home.

At least that was the case as of Friday afternoon, when the San Francisco Police Department dispelled rumors on social media that officers were citing violators of the order.

“To date, we have not issued any citations related to the public health order,” SFPD said on its official Twitter account.

But that does not mean that people should run outdoors. The City, and now the state of California, has ordered residents to stay inside except for the most essential reasons like grocery shopping.

The orders are designed to stop the spread of coronavirus and prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed by a large number of people testing postive and requiring treatment all at once.

And while Police Chief Bill Scott has said that violators will only be cited as a “last resort,” officers do have the power to issue a misdemeanor citation that would require a violator to appear in court.

A violation is punishable by a fine, imprisonment or both, according to the local order.

Instead of enforcement, police are focusing on advising apparent violators to follow the order.

View the county’s order — and essential activities permitted under the order — here. It will be in effect at least until April 7.

The order issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom and public health officials is available here and will be in effect until further notice.

mbarba@sfexaminer.com

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