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El Cajon City Council denies Mayor's request for police to stop enforcing health orders

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Posted at 5:38 PM, Aug 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-28 20:38:20-04

EL CAJON, Calif. (KGTV) — El Cajon City Council voted Friday not to make any changes in how the city enforces the county's coronavirus public health orders.

Thursday, Mayor Bill Wells called for the special meeting to discuss stopping El Cajon Police from enforcing public health measures around facial coverings and distancing.

City Council leaders said the city would continue enforcing the rules as they have on a case-by-case basis, according to the mayor. So while police won't respond to complaints like who is or is not wearing a mask or whether a restaurant has too many people inside, they will focus on more egregious violations, like large parties or businesses being fully opened.

RELATED: El Cajon Mayor calls for police to stop enforcing county COVID-19 measures

However, after California implemented new guidance on Friday that allows San Diego County to reopen several businesses indoors with modifications starting Monday, Wells said no major action by the city was needed.

Thursday, Wells told ABC 10News that he understands that the county and state may continue to hand out fines or criminal charges on businesses despite the stance, but the mental health issues surrounding restrictions are too much.

"I don't enjoy taking a stand like this, this isn't going to be any fun. But I think my responsibility to the people are more important than my comfort," Wells, a mental health professional, said Thursday. "I want to emphasize I'm not telling people not to wear masks. I'm not telling people not to social distance. And I think people who are elderly with co-morbidities should stay in their homes and not socialize with people."

According to data from the county on Friday, El Cajon has reported 1,828 coronavirus cases, or 4.9% of the county's total cases.