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Sonora Approves Fine Structure To Enforce COVID-19 Directive

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Sonora, CA — The Sonora City Council has approved a set of fines to help enforce the Governor’s directive that individuals stay in their place of residence during the coronavirus pandemic.

People and non-essential businesses defying the rules would first receive a warning that what they are doing is unlawful. If someone, or a non-essential business, continues to disobey, they will receive a $250 fine, then a $500 fine and eventually a $1,000 fine.

City Attorney Douglas White said the hope is that this will never have to be carried out, but stressed that the city needs a way to enforce the Governor’s mandate. He referred to it as being regulated similarly to a parking ticket, instead of regulating it criminally and putting people in handcuffs. It was approved 5-0. The emergency ordinance will continue until Governor Newsom ends the State of Emergency related to COVID-19, or until it is rescinded by the council. It will be reviewed at each upcoming meeting. It only covers the city of Sonora, where the council has jurisdiction.

Monday’s meeting was held on the website Zoom and members of the public could log on to listen and/or comment.