Sheriff Mark Essick says he won't enforce Sonoma County health order starting June 1

SONOMA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Essick says he won't enforce the county health officer's orders come June 1.

At that time he will follow the governor's directives instead.

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The health officer has delayed the reopening of businesses another two weeks due to a recent uptick in cases and a few hospitalizations.

The sheriff says the percentage of COVID-19 cases among those tested is still down despite uptick in total cases.

ABC7 News spoke with Essick Thursday night.

He told us, "What we'll do on June 1st, we will start following the governor's directives."

He went on to say, "that's a decision that I've made in consultation with constituents and many other leaders in the area. Over the last ten weeks we've learned a lot. We've learned that the curve has been lowered significantly here in Sonoma County."

The sheriff posted a lengthy statement on Facebook.

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This means the sheriff's office will not enforce county restrictions in unincorporated areas, meaning that some businesses may choose to open up at that time. Some in Penngrove are against the sheriff's stand.

"If we live in this county we should listen to county health department and what they're saying because they're going to base it on what is happening here," says Brenda Johnson.

Others are in full support. Evan Bedford lives in the county and says, "I think all these businesses deserve to be back open it's been a few months already and everyone is getting anxious."

The sheriff says there have been just four deaths from COVID-19 in the county. He says the system has not been fair to business owners and this should help them.

"The mom and pop floral shop isn't able to operate but the Safeway floral shop can operate and people see that as unfair."

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