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San Diego County will enforce social distance orders

San Diego law enforcement said those who do not comply with public safety orders will receive a citation.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Social distance orders are in full effect to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Beaches, parks, and large social gatherings are off-limits in almost all cities in the county.

San Diego law enforcement told News 8, those who do not comply with public safety orders will receive a citation. 

County leaders are addressing the hardships and challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented in our personal and professional lives. Aggressive enforcement actions will now be taken for violating bans on gatherings of more than 10 people. 

Penalties could range from criminal and civil citations which will include fines and penalties up to criminal and misdemeanor charges. 

Glen Googins, Chula Vista City Attorney said expect fines up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail depending on the action. These are penalties people will face when not complying with public health orders.

San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore has asked the community to voluntary comply with these rules. He asked residents to stay home and only venture out when necessary.

If out in public it’s important to practice social distancing and hygiene protocols.  

Sheriff Gore said this is a critical time and it has come to this point where citations have to be given.

As COVID-19 concerns heighten expect to see more patrol throughout the county.

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News 8 has joined forces with The San Diego Foundation to raise immediate, emergency funds for our most vulnerable neighbors in need. Here is how you can help.  

We also have a Frequently Asked Questions page we will continue updating with the latest information and reports.  

Click here to watch "Facts Not Fear," a News 8 Special on coronavirus from March 26, 2020. 


According to the CDC, coronavirus (COVID-19) is a family of viruses that is spreadable from person to person. Coronavirus is believed to have been first detected in a seafood market in Wuhan, China in December 2019. If someone is sick with coronavirus, the symptoms they may show include mild to severe respiratory illness, cough, and difficulty breathing.  

Currently, there is no vaccine, however, the CDC suggests the following precautions, as with any other respiratory illness:  

Know how it spreads:  

  • There is no vaccine  
  • The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus 
  • It is thought to spread mainly from person-person between people in close contact 
  • And believed to be spread by respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes 

Protect yourself 

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds 
  • If soap and water aren't available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick 
  • Put distance between yourselves and others 

Protect others 

  • Stay home when you are sick 
  • Wear a facemask if you are sick 
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash 
  • If you don't have tissue, cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow 
  • Immediately wash your hands after coughing and sneezing  
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe 

You can find information on disinfecting and cleaning on the CDC's How to Protect Yourself page. 

The California Department of Public Health has issued guidance on the use of cloth face coverings to protect against the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.  

The County of San Diego has made face coverings mandatory for those working with the public including grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and similar businesses. 

While officials say these face coverings are not a substitute for practices like social distancing and handwashing, there is evidence to suggest that the use of cloth face coverings by the public during a pandemic could help reduce disease transmission. Officials do not recommend the public use N-95 or surgical masks which are needed by health care workers and first responders. 

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