Clovis residents could be fined $1,000 for not following social distancing guidelines

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As the number of people infected with the coronavirus rising in the Valley, Clovis city officials added new regulations to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Thursday, the city announced residents who choose not to follow the governor's shelter-in-place order or social distancing guidelines from the department of public health could face fines.

The order states: "In addition to all other remedies and penalties available under the Clovis Municipal Code and state law, a violation of the Governor's Stay at Home Order or the DPH Guidance regarding social distancing and non-essential gatherings, as the Stay at Home Order and DPH Guidance may be amended, supplemented, or interpreted by the Governor or DPH, shall be punishable by an administrative citation imposed pursuant to Chapter 1.7 of the Clovis Municipal Code with an administrative penalty of $1,000 per violation. Due to the local emergency and the need to protect the public health, safety, and welfare, no notice and opportunity to correct is required before issuing a citation. Each and every day during any portion of which any violation of any provision of the Governor's Stay at Home Order or the DPH Guidance is committed, continued, or permitted in the City, shall be considered a separate offense."

The full order is attached to the bottom of this post.

The Director of Emergency Services in Clovis added the new emergency orders, which also say there does not be a warning for those who do not adhere to the regulations.

On Friday afternoon, a spokesperson for the city of Clovis explained that the city expects that residents and businesses will comply voluntarily. They said while the orders provide the ability to issue a citation without going through a lengthy and formal written warning process, law enforcement will issue verbal warnings and instruction to those who are found to not be in compliance with the emergency orders.

The city says it will only issue fines is a last resort for those who refuse to follow the warnings and instruction and continue to violate the emergency order.

The spokesperson added, residents will not be stopped and questioned by law enforcement during the course of their day; either while driving or walking. They clarified that to mean running errands, going to or from work or for walking on sidewalks, trails or parks.

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