City of San Diego officials laid out enforceable mandates through an executive order for gatherings, bars and dining establishments on Monday, following San Diego County's updated guidelines.
Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer, City Council President Georgette Gómez, San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit and San Diego Fire-Rescue Chief Colin Stowell spoke about the city's response to the novel coronavirus.
Hours earlier, San Diego County leaders made drastic changes to a public health order issued to prevent the spread of a novel coronavirus within the local community as its reach extends across the globe.
Mayor Faulconer referenced the county saying, "This will be in effect in the entire city of San Diego as well."
Faulconer said he also signed an executive directive that will be turned into law, ordering all bars and nightclubs to close, and dine-in restaurants to move to pick-up or delivery only. The mandate does not include grocery stores, he said.
“These mandates that are coming out are going to help slow the spread and as we’ve all heard, fatten curve,” said City Medical Director Dr. Joelle Donofrio. “If we can slow the rate of contagion, then our hospitals can help take care of the number of sick patients that we are going to get.”
These new regulations will go into effect at 11:59 p.m. Monday and continue until March 31 at 12 p.m., unless they need to be extended.
SDPD Chief Nisleit said police will be enforcing the mandates through a "complaint-driven process" and those in violation could be given a notice of violation. Officers will also be out Monday night to educate restaurants and bars, he said.
“We do not take these decisions lightly, however they are necessary to protect our community," Faulconer said.
San Diego Police and Fire-Rescue departments will remain fully staffed while the city scales back other services during this time to direct resources to fight the outbreak of COVID-19, Faulconer said.
Nisleit said San Diegans may see officers wearing personal protective equipment to ensure their safety.
SDFD Chief Stowell said the fire department was implementing procedures to protect first responders and identify high-risk patients.
City Council President Georgette Gomez said she was in support of the mayor's mandates "because I believe it is the right thing to do for San Diegans to ensure that we are not spreading the virus.”
Councilmember Gomez said she was calling an emergency council meeting Tuesday to discuss potential responses to the pandemic.
Proposals include stopping residential evictions due to non-payment of rent; stopping evictions and mortgage foreclosures on housing authority properties due to nonpayment; stopping evictions of small businesses under commercial leases; providing relief for individuals and landlords who have suffered severe loss of wages and income; stopping or utilizing shut off of late fees on payments; delaying the collection of business tax certification fees; ensuring that we enforce our earned sick leave and minimum wage ordinance; opening hotel rooms to our unsheltered individuals and families with supportive services; explore a moratorium on the city vehicle habitational ordinance; and calling for a halt on immigration enforcement operations including entering checkpoints and sensitive locations such as hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities.
Get the latest information on how the coronavirus is affecting San Diego County here.
For the latest information on COVID-19, visit the CDC website here.