Coronavirus Watch: Josephine County Sheriff won't enforce state COVID-19 mandates

Sheriff Daniel's statement comes hot on the heels of a message from Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin, one which pledged not to enforce state mandates while also vocally criticizing the Governor's 'style of leadership.'

Posted: Aug 26, 2021 2:38 PM
Updated: Aug 26, 2021 6:33 PM

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Josephine County Sheriff Dave Daniel put out a statement on Thursday, clarifying that his agency will not be enforcing any of Governor Kate Brown's COVID-19 mandates, though they will respond to "incidents that may arise from such mandates."

Sheriff Daniel's statement comes hot on the heels of a message from Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin, one which pledged not to enforce state mandates while also vocally criticizing the Governor's "style of leadership."

The position that local law enforcement in Oregon will not enforce the Governor's COVID-19 executive orders has been relatively standard since the beginning of the pandemic, and enforcement has largely fallen to state regulatory agencies like Oregon OSHA. In that sense, nothing substantive has changed.

Sheriff Daniel said that his agency has received "numerous requests" to get his stance on these issues, so he felt compelled to issue a statement:

"When elected into the Office of Sheriff by the citizens of Josephine County, I took an oath to support the Constitutions of the State of Oregon and the United States of America. I stand firm on my oath and consider it my responsibility to protect Josephine County citizens from what I consider 'over reach.' I am a conservator of the peace and it is my responsibility to protect our citizens' Rights, Freedoms and Liberties.

"While recently there has been a spike in COVID-19 cases, I believe these mandates should be a local and personal choice. I have found our Public Health Department and County Physician to be on top of what is best for our citizens by advising best practices for us all. Local control and personal choice are two issues I firmly believe in. As a result, the Josephine County Sheriff's Office will NOT be enforcing any mandatory mask or vaccination mandates. We will however, remain Conservators of the Peace and respond accordingly to incidents that may arise from such mandates but will not address the mandates specifically.

"It is not my intent to stand on a 'soap box' and disrespect our state officials. I believe they are doing what they think is right, just as I am in this brief letter. It is however, my intent to stand on the firm soil of Josephine County and represent our citizens. In closing, I leave it up to you. Conduct research, seek advise from physicians, make an education decision on what is best for you and your families, be courteous to others and respect their personal decisions just as you request their respect for your own. We are a strong county and together we will prevail and get through these trying times."

Like neighboring Jackson County, Josephine has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations that are overwhelming the ability of local hospital systems to serve the sheer number of patients at the level of care they require. At Asante Three Rivers in Grants Pass, COVID-19 patients fill the Critical Care Unit, and hospital administrators are pursuing multiple contingency plans to expand capacity and staffing where they can.

Hospital and public health officials in both Jackson and Josephine counties say that upwards of 90 percent of COVID-19 patients are unvaccinated.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 309841

Reported Deaths: 3569
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah50840642
Washington34683272
Marion32181388
Clackamas26315270
Lane23632246
Jackson20753255
Deschutes16401100
Umatilla12552125
Douglas10599185
Linn1030285
Josephine8536163
Yamhill737299
Klamath637891
Polk617770
Malheur475867
Benton454027
Coos406469
Columbia320237
Jefferson310446
Lincoln272829
Union266036
Wasco236739
Crook212137
Clatsop210225
Tillamook179623
Baker171920
Morrow166621
Curry166317
Hood River161635
Harney77115
Grant7538
Lake6608
Wallowa50111
Gilliam1364
Sherman1283
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4636268

Reported Deaths: 67966
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles144412725849
Riverside3575584802
San Diego3492274006
San Bernardino3468955501
Orange3135295354
Sacramento1498662070
Santa Clara1403871841
Fresno1356471889
Kern1343971515
Alameda1160681320
Ventura976231120
San Joaquin971621615
Contra Costa95595924
Stanislaus800341229
Tulare72812896
San Mateo52172607
San Francisco51808605
Monterey49445565
Solano44061312
Santa Barbara43065500
Sonoma39376376
Merced39279535
Placer36390364
Imperial34235755
Kings30038285
San Luis Obispo28273313
Madera21672258
Butte21205230
Shasta20647276
Santa Cruz20134211
Yolo19118239
Marin17080242
El Dorado15964127
Sutter13055153
Napa1224695
Yuba923461
Nevada845685
Humboldt826284
Tehama821184
San Benito708567
Mendocino681971
Lassen636827
Tuolumne612593
Lake601087
Amador489759
Glenn396430
Siskiyou388841
Calaveras339366
Del Norte334234
Colusa290718
Inyo166239
Mono14935
Plumas12336
Mariposa96712
Trinity71910
Modoc6278
Sierra1980
Unassigned1180
Alpine1000
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