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Governor Creates Strike Team To Enforce COVID-19 Regulations

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Sacramento, CA — Governor Gavin Newsom is stepping up efforts to enforce rules regarding masks and physical distancing, and says counties that fail to help could risk losing state funding.

He says the state is creating a multi-agency strike team to target non-compliant workplaces. It will include members of Alcohol Beverage Control, CALOSHA, Department of Business Oversight, Department of Consumer Affairs and the CHP. They plan to build partnerships, and work hand in hand, with local public health departments.

He noted that is impossible to make sure all businesses comply with state directives, so they will go after businesses being most aggressive in “thumbing their nose” against directives.

He added that officials will “not be coming with a fist,” and he still prefers “education and awareness.”

Counties that decline to work with the strike team, or go against the state directives, risk losing a combined $2.5 billion pot of money that is earmarked for local jurisdictions.

In addition, Newsom announced that over the next three weeks, 19 counties currently seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases must disallow indoor service for restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, zoos, cardrooms and museums. They include Contra Costa, Fresno, Glenn, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, Merced, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Joaquin, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Solano, Stanislaus, Tulare and Ventura. The businesses in those counties can still operate outdoors.

Also, all parking facilities at state beaches in the Bay Area and Southern California will be closed this weekend. State parks will remain open with measures in place to reduce visitation and overcrowding.