SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen is reminding the public that the health department’s orders to shelter in place carry the full weight of the law. He said businesses not complying with the order will get final warnings, but after that they could face prosecution on a variety of charges.
“If the business owner does not close down after a warning, the business owner will be cited for a misdemeanor,” said Rosen. “But it might also be a violation of the unfair businesses practices, and business code sections which can be a felony.”
Rosen’s office has set up a hotline for the public to report non essential businesses that are defying the shelter in place order. The number is 408 792-2300.
The DA says businesses not complying with the order are risking human life. “It’s impossible to explain to a son or daughter why this community didn’t do everything they could, when their mother or father has died from this terrible virus,” Rosen said.
San Jose Police are already deploying what are called “compliance cars” which are driving the city to issue those warnings to business that should be closed but aren’t.
Most businesses are complying. But a few questionable ones were still operating, like the Jasmine Kocha tea shop in a West San Jose strip mall. A worker said his customers asked him to stay open so he did.
“We’re trying our best. Our customers cannot make these drinks at home. They love our drinks,” said the man who identified himself as Tony.
One Willow Glen chocolate shop is complying with the order for the greater good, even though it is hurting business. “If you don’t have to, please, close the business. Go home, don’t spread it,” said Frank Bejan, manager of Chocolates and More.
“The faster we get rid of this virus, the better off we will be.” said Bejan.