Reporting a Health Order Violation
Non-emergency violations can be reported during normal business hours the following ways:
Call: 1 (833) SAFE707 (1-833-723-3707)
Online: SoCo Report It
These lines aren’t monitored 24/7. If you need to report something, for example a large gathering, over the weekend, please call the Santa Rosa Police Department (SRPD) non-emergency number at 707-528-5222. This should only be used when the SAFE707 line is closed, as SRPD's dispatch center is set up to handle emergency and non-emergency law enforcement calls and it’s important to keep these lines open for emergency and other urgent law enforcement service needs within our community.
Enforcement of the Health Order
On August 11, Santa Rosa City Council approved an urgency ordinance authorizing administrative enforcement of the public health Orders in Santa Rosa. The ordinance closely mirrors the County of Sonoma's enforcement ordinance that provides a mechanism for local civil administrative citations and civil penalties. This City ordinance was necessary to provide authority for local enforcement of both the County and State Health Officer Orders. The fine amounts match the County's enforcement ordinance:
- Personal (non-commercial) violation: $100
- Commercial violation:
- $1,000 - first violation
- $5,000 - second violation
- $10,000 - third and each additional violation by same responsible party
The City will continue to work closely with the County in coordinating our collective response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including education, outreach and enforcement.
READ ENFORCEMENT ORDINANCE TEXT
Frequently Asked Questions: Enforcement of the Health Order
Q1. Why did the City take this action?
The County of Sonoma and the City of Santa Rosa continue to suffer high rates of COVID-19 infections, placing our community and its health care system at significant risk. The County has been placed on the State County Watch List by the California Department of Public Health due to increases in infections and hospitalizations.
While most Santa Rosa residents and businesses have complied with Public Health Orders, some businesses and individuals have violated and continue to violate Health Orders. These violations create a serious and immediate threat to public health and safety and jeopardize social and economic welfare by increasing the potential for renewed curtailment of business operations, school closures, and activity restrictions.
The City of Santa Rosa’s Local Urgency Ordinance closely mirrors Sonoma County’s enforcement ordinance and provides authority for local enforcement of both the county and state health orders.
Q2. Why was an enforcement tool added?
The Sonoma County Health Officer and the State Health Officer have issued multiple orders to control the spread of infection, restricting certain business activities and requiring personal responsibility for social distancing, masking and hygiene. Prior to the Local Urgency Ordinance, criminal enforcement and judicial actions were the primary tools for enforcement. However, these strategies were not sufficient to stem the spread of COVID-19 and it became clear that additional enforcement strategies were needed.
The Local Urgency Ordinance adds a civil administrative process to address Public Health Order violations. It supplements, rather than replaces, other enforcement methods and it is hoped that that this administrative citation process will deter violations before they occur.
Informal intervention and education will continue to be the initial strategy to encourage voluntary compliance in the community.
Q3. How much will the fines be?
Personal (non-commercial) fines will be a civil penalty of $100 for each violation.
A commercial violation is subject to a civil penalty of $1,000 for a first violation, $5,000 for a second violation, and $10,000 for each additional violation by the same responsible party.
The City of Santa Rosa’s urgency ordinance and the County’s enforcement ordinance align our area with neighboring jurisdictions. Marin, Mendocino, and Napa counties, as well as other Bay Area jurisdictions, have similar measures.
The City will continue to focus first on educating individuals and businesses about the importance of adherence to Sonoma County’s health orders, and citations will be used only when compliance is not gained through education.
Q4. Is this urgency order in effect just in Santa Rosa? What about other cities and unincorporated areas within Sonoma County?
The City’s Local Urgency Ordinance is similar to Sonoma County’s enforcement ordinance and was necessary to provide authority for local enforcement of both the county and state health order within Santa Rosa city limits. The Sonoma County enforcement ordinance is effective in all of Sonoma County, in and out of city limits.
Q5. How should someone report a business or individual who is not following the Health Order?
Non-emergency violations can be reported by phone or email during normal business hours:
These lines aren’t monitored 24/7. If you need to report something, for example a large gathering, over the weekend, please call the Santa Rosa Police Department. This should only be used when the SAFE707 line is closed.
Q6. What rules will be enforced?
Personal (non-commercial) violations include:
- Not wearing a face covering when you’re outside your home and are either indoors or outside and unable to maintain 6 feet of social distance between you and people who are not members of your household.
- Hosting gatherings of people who aren’t sheltering in the same household.
- Not self-isolating after testing positive for COVID-19.
Commercial violations include:
Businesses are required to follow all components of local and state orders. Some of the requirements include:
- The local health order issued on June 18, 2020 includes Appendix A, which is required for all Sonoma County businesses.
- All businesses in Sonoma County must follow industry specific state guidance, which can be found in Appendix C of the June 18th local health order.
To view a list of what business sectors are currently closed by state mandate, go to https://socoemergency.org/emergency/novel-coronavirus/resources-for-you/businesses/whats-open/.
Businesses that are closed per state direction, unless these industries can provide services outside:
- Card rooms
- Family entertainment centers (for example bowling alleys and arcades)
- Gyms and fitness centers (including yoga and dance studios)
- Hair salons and barbershops
- Shopping malls
- Movie theaters
- Offices for non-essential (non-critical infrastructure) sectors
- Personal care services, (for example nail salons, body waxing and tattoo parlors)
- Wineries/tasting rooms
- Worship services and cultural ceremonies (for example weddings and funerals)
- Zoos and museums
Q7. How will residents hear about the ordinance?
The City of Santa Rosa is joining with the County of Sonoma and other city and community partners to educate the public about the enforcement ordinance through paid advertising and media outreach in various, local outlets, including print, online, and radio; bilingual social media posts and videos; website updates at SoCoEmergency.org and SRCity.org/PreventTheSpread and other methods. The information will delve into the “why” behind this program, as well as to reiterate the importance of wearing face coverings and practicing physical distancing.