Coronavirus Safety: Alameda County Sheriff's deputies adding COVID-19 prevention into their daily duties

CASTRO VALLEY, Calif. (KGO) -- An Alameda County Sheriff's Office detail known primarily for helping businesses reduce the odds of being crime victims is now spending most of its time making sure that those businesses are following health department guidelines designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

ABC7 News rode along with Sgt. Oscar Perez to take a look at some of those businesses in the unincorporated areas.

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"They are actually following all the guidelines here," Perez said as he walked into a Bank of America branch in Castro Valley.

Many businesses already follow health department guidelines on social distancing by marking the ground to keep six feet distance between customers. The Bank of America branch goes even farther.

"It's more like ten feet, which is great" according to Perez.

He also showed ABC7 News hand sanitizer stations at the only entrance and the only exit. And how the furniture is wiped down after every use. Bank customer Stefon Gold appreciates it.

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"They are taking all the precautions and I think they are serving us well," he said.

Perez had another Gold Star for the El Rancho Grocery and Taqueria - which lets in only ten customers at a time - and puts distance marks not only at the check out line, but in the aisles and specialty counters too. Perez says it's a model business.

He also had kudos for the Trader Joes across the street. One customer out, one in. with a maximum of 50 customers in at any one time.

Deputies estimate 90 percent of businesses are in compliance. But the Town and Country liquor store is not. We went in with Deputy Joe Delgado, who told the person behind the counter where they are lacking.

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For example no health department guidelines posted on the window, no markings inside or out showing the recommended safe distance between customers and no barrier to protect customers and checker from each other.

Deputies could issue citations to businesses not in compliance, but they would rather use persuasion.

"We want to educate...that's what we want to do. We don't want to give anybody a citation. It's more of an educational process" said Perez.

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