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County issues 8 cease-and-desist orders for reported College Area Halloween gatherings

Virus Outbreak California College
Posted at 4:33 PM, Oct 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-30 21:23:29-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego County has issued eight cease-and-desist orders to College Area homes, including six affiliated with Greek life organizations, ahead of reported Halloween gatherings.

The orders say the eight residences, "intends to hold large gatherings on October 30, 2020 - November 1, 2020 in blatant violation of the Order of the State Health Officer, the County Order of the Health Officer and Emergency Regulations, and CDPH's October 9, 2020 gathering guidance."

If the residences hold large gatherings, the cease-and-desist letters say they may face, "actions necessary to enforce the orders and the gathering guidance," which can include criminal misdemeanor citations and a $1,000 fine for each violation.

RELATED: Stay-at-home advisory issued for San Diego State students over Halloween

Gatherings in the state's Oct. 9 health order must include no more than three households.

In a statement, County Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten said the county's livelihood is directly tied to the actions of all residents.

"We were compelled to take this action because there is a great deal at stake. Let me be very clear, the region’s livelihood hangs in the balance and is directly tied to our individual and collective actions. We are on the brink of moving to a more restrictive tier. Know that our place on one tier or another is not based on the state’s assessment, it is intrinsically tied to our personal and common efforts. The risk of contracting COVID-19 is increased when we come in contact with individuals outside our households. Every decision each of us makes should be guided by that knowledge," Wooten wrote.

RELATED: Off-campus parties near San Diego State an issue for College Area residents

As of Oct. 30, 826 off-campus SDSU students have tested positive for the coronavirus while 422 on-campus students have tested positive.

San Diego State University issued a stay-at-home advisory for all students from Friday, Oct. 23, at 6 p.m. through Monday, Nov. 2, at 6 a.m. to discourage participation in any large gatherings over the holiday.

The San Diego Police Department said in a release that they are aware of reported plans for Halloween parties in the College Area.

"The department will work together with SDSU where appropriate to respond to any calls for service regarding loud parties this weekend and will take appropriate action, including issuing citations," an SDPD statement read.

As of Oct. 23, nearly 970 notices of alleged violations of the campus' COVID-19 policy had been issued.

A statement from San Diego State said the campus is in full support of the county's actions:

"SDSU is fully supportive of the cease and desist order Dr. Wilma J. Wooten issued to the region’s higher education community. Since last spring, SDSU has worked with county public health officials to encourage that all students, faculty and staff adhere to public health guidelines and our state’s public health orders. Students should not be hosting or attending parties and should not be attending any in-person gathering that is not in compliance with public health directives."