Rocklin, CA – Dozens of law enforcement officers swarmed a residential neighborhood in Placer County on Thursday and enforced a quarantine order on the entire block.
“Head back inside,” a sheriff’s deputy ordered residents via loudspeaker when people started poking their heads out to investigate the chaos happening on their street on March 5, KMAX reported.
Sacramento County sheriff’s deputies and Rocklin police officers wearing protective gloves shut down the street as a sheriff’s department helicopter buzzed overhead.
“Law enforcement partners are currently responding to enforce a health officer’s order. We cannot share any additional information to protect patient confidentiality,” the Placer County Health Department said shortly after news of the police-enforced quarantine broke in the local press.
Although officials refused to provide any additional details on the abrupt move, KMAX reported that the 71-year-old man who died of coronavirus on Wednesday in Placer County had lived on the block that was placed under quarantine.
The order to quarantine the block fell under a California Health and Safety Code that allowed the Placer County Health Department to “enforce regulations requiring strict isolation, or quarantine if the action is necessary for the protection of the public health,” KMAX reported.
People who lived on the block remained unclear as to why exactly they were ordered inside their homes, and officers on the scene have remained mum.
But KMAX reported that a law enforcement presence was maintained on the street even after residents were told they no longer had to stay inside their homes.
Witnesses told reporters they hadn’t seen anybody from the health department going inside any of the homes on the street, KMAX reported.
This is the first such police-enforced quarantine associated with the outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States.
The county has not said what will happen to the targeted street going forward, according to KMAX.