Public Health: Non-essential business owners who stay open can face fine, jail time


The Kern County Public Health Services Department is cracking down on businesses not following stay-at-home orders.

The department said in a new order that as of today, businesses violating Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order requiring all non-essential businesses to close will be subject to a fine, jail or both. 

The department said a team is meeting with businesses that have received complaints from the public and making sure they follow the guidance. The department said if businesses refuse to comply with the order they will be “guilty of a misdemeanor.” 

Besides some exceptions, the California Penal Code says that every offense declared to be a misdemeanor is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for up to six months, by a fine not exceeding $1,000, or both.

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