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Sheriff: Jackson County will not enforce Governor's stay-at-home order

Sheriff Nathan Sickler said that the Jackson County Sheriff's Office will not dedicate any of its resources to enforcing Governor Brown's executive orders if they are defied.

Posted: May 8, 2020 2:06 PM
Updated: May 8, 2020 2:22 PM

CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — The Jackson County Sheriff's Office will not be enforcing Governor Kate Brown's stay-at-home order during the COVID-19 response, Sheriff Nathan Sickler shared in a Facebook post on Friday.

"The Sheriff's Office has not and will not dedicate any of our limited resources to enforcing this order," Sickler said. "We respect all of our resident's freedom and rights and thank everyone for their efforts thus far to keep our community safe. We also understand the difficulties our current status is causing for our valley and many people have been put in very difficult situations. My office will not make those situations worse."

Though Jackson County is on track to enter Phase One of reopening on May 15 under the Governor's plan, the pressure has been building from at least some people to open businesses up early in defiance of that order.

Sickler asked that Jackson County residents not call the Sheriff's Office to report any businesses that have opened or group gatherings, saying that the agency has "much more significant issues" to deal with every day.

"If you are vulnerable or concerned, please protect yourself and act accordingly. I also ask that everyone be respectful of one another," Sickler said.

The Sheriff encouraged businesses or people set on holding a gathering to check with the responsible agencies, namely OSHA, and "understand the current regulations and potential civil penalties" of defying the Governor's orders.

"I would also suggest you check with the law enforcement entity that has jurisdiction where your home or business is, to include municipal police departments, the Oregon State Police and the Oregon Attorney General’s Office," Sickler said. "These other administrative and law enforcement agencies and departments operate independently from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office."

The Governor's Office recently reiterated that violations of the stay-at-home order are considered a Class C misdemeanor, for which the penalty is up to 30 days in jail, a fine of up to $1,250, or both — and that can apply to business owners and their patrons. Still, Brown's office admitted that criminal penalties are a last resort.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office isn't the only agency that has signaled they will not enforce any violations of the order. The Grants Pass Department of Public Safety confirmed as much to NewsWatch 12 earlier this week as several Grants Pass businesses moved to open early.

Governor Brown's office called these violations "irresponsible and unfortunate."

"The Governor’s Office is aware that some businesses are choosing to reopen prematurely, before appropriate safeguards are in place for their communities," Brown's office said. "This behavior is irresponsible and unfortunate. These business owners are putting the public at risk. "A public health crisis should never be used as a marketing opportunity. As a state, and as a community, we have a shared responsibility to protect our friends, neighbors, and loved ones from COVID-19."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 348766

Reported Deaths: 4161
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah54797689
Washington37988313
Marion36055444
Clackamas29094304
Lane26966298
Jackson22632300
Deschutes19577123
Umatilla14241144
Linn12380120
Douglas11795240
Josephine9233195
Yamhill8517110
Klamath7709110
Polk715380
Malheur551574
Benton529130
Coos489691
Columbia371343
Jefferson361450
Union313146
Lincoln310638
Wasco281540
Crook274745
Clatsop239529
Baker198028
Tillamook193328
Hood River188337
Morrow181623
Curry178122
Harney108424
Grant97612
Lake89011
Wallowa67012
Gilliam1484
Sherman1463
Wheeler991
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4810222

Reported Deaths: 70598
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles147569426398
Riverside3693444990
San Diego3636444159
San Bernardino3563155566
Orange3227415518
Sacramento1576212279
Santa Clara1445181890
Kern1441461605
Fresno1441232051
Alameda1198871372
San Joaquin1018071708
Ventura1005241164
Contra Costa99234982
Stanislaus851571315
Tulare78945951
San Francisco54031645
San Mateo53828622
Monterey50696582
Solano45761334
Santa Barbara44836521
Merced41781577
Sonoma40711402
Placer38902415
Imperial35642764
Kings32369314
San Luis Obispo29653329
Madera23518281
Butte23364260
Shasta23360334
Santa Cruz20861218
Yolo20147247
Marin17581243
El Dorado16960149
Sutter13775169
Napa12808100
Yuba994282
Tehama9298104
Humboldt9102108
Nevada903990
Mendocino752786
Lassen746346
San Benito737372
Tuolumne673993
Lake6506104
Amador537264
Siskiyou442742
Glenn430330
Calaveras381780
Del Norte356141
Colusa301718
Inyo196739
Mono16445
Plumas15756
Mariposa127315
Trinity86011
Modoc6698
Unassigned1860
Sierra1760
Alpine1020
Out of CA00
Medford
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Brookings
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Crater Lake
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Klamath Falls
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Staying dry and sunny today, rain and mountain snow arrives Sunday
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