Concern Over Enforcement of Purple Tier in San Diego County

Effective Saturday, San Diego County shifts to the most-restrictive tier in California's color-coded system of coronavirus-related tiers

NBC Universal, Inc.

Now that San Diego County is back in Purple Tier, some wonder if we'll see defiance from businesses and the public similar to what we saw the last time we were in the state's most restrictive reopening tier.

“I think people have had it, I think we’ve hit the end of our tether and I would not be surprised if I saw business owners not being complicit,” said Little Italy resident Sarah Mojabi. “I wouldn’t be surprised.”

The new wave of restrictions goes into effect Saturday at 12 a.m. At that time, impacted businesses will be expected to voluntarily comply or risk fines or even being closed by the county.

Starting Saturday restaurants, gyms and churches will have to shut down their indoor operations and offer services outside only.

“I do see the struggles everyone is going through, but at the same time I would rather have that than someone I know passing away,” said SDSU student Gustavo Marquez.

The County Health Department said Dr. Wilma Wooten sent a letter to all local law enforcement agencies asking for increased efforts around enforcement.

These last few months have shown that the county is slow to penalize businesses that break the rules. In May the county temporarily closed El Prez bar in Pacific Beach which was shut down for blatant violation of health orders, once they met compliance they were back open.

“I’ve seen too many crowded places, too many restraints with indoor seating and there’s just tables together just that’s where I think a lot of this is coming from,” said Pat Moran.

According to county data obtained by NBC 7 Investigates, the majority of outbreaks over the summer occurred at restaurants and bars. Health experts consider going out to dine a medium to high-risk activity and heading to places of worship as high risk.

In July Awaken church in Kearny Mesa held an indoor service in violation of state and county health order and then held large outdoor services. The county responded by sending a compliance officer over.

The restrictions will also impact retailers asking they keep their capacity to 25%.

Contact Us