California ‘Strike Teams' Put Teeth Into COVID-19 Health Orders

NBCUniversal, Inc.

In an effort to force California businesses to follow health guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic, Governor Gavin Newsom launched “strike teams” to bring them into compliance.

The strike teams will only target businesses that are repeat offenders or that operate in defiance of the public health orders aimed at slowing the spread of Covid-19.

A spokesman for the California Office of Emergency Services, which runs the program, told NBC 7 that representatives from 10 state agencies with control over licensing will be working as additional resources for county health departments.

Here in San Diego County, the health department has shut down two restaurants after seeing people inside them crowded together without wearing face coverings. Both El Prez, in Pacific Beach, and Hernandez Hideway, in Escondido, were allowed to re-open after agreeing to follow the health protocols.

The state strike teams will put teeth into the health orders by giving agencies the ability to penalize the licenses of businesses that re-offend .

The day after the governor announced the strike teams, they contacted a total of 172 businesses, citing 7 of them, according to a spokesman.

Although this is a holiday weekend, the California Office of Emergency Services, spokesman said, the strike teams will not take the holiday off. Instead, they will actively be working to bring businesses into full compliance -- or face the consequences.

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