Manteca has removed all basketball rims from courts in city parks.
Police also will crackdown on street basketball games where portable hoops are placed at curbside in a bid to get compliance with stay at home and social distancing orders to try and flatten the curve of coronavirus patients as ordered by Gov. Gavin Newson.
The city’s move Thursday came on the same day two more people died in San Joaquin County from the coronavirus to bring the county death toll to 10. In addition there was also a 10 percent jump in confirmed cases. The additional 17 patients bring the total confirmed San Joaquin County cases to 178.
Statewide there were 1,700 plus new cases added to push the number of California cases to 10,003 with 214 deaths. There have been 5,926 deaths in the United States.
San Joaquin County health officials expect local coronavirus cases will keep growing until peaking May 9-11.
Manteca Police Lt. Stephen Schluer noted the Parks & Recreation Department maintenance crews removed the basketball hoops after people repeatedly ignored warnings to social distance.
As for those who are playing basketball on hoops set up curbside — or in front driveways — Schluer said police would first contact parents to explain the governor’s orders. He also noted it is a misdemeanor under city ordinances to set up basketball hoops for street play.
Should there be a repeat offense after a warning, Schuler said police could issue parents a misdemeanor citation or refer the case to the district attorney’s office for possible prosecution.
“(The emergency orders) are designed to flatten the curve to reduce the number of coronavirus cases,” Schluer said.
He emphasized the Centers for Disease Control has repeatedly noted that people can have the COVID-19 virus and not ever get sick while at the same time pass it on to others who could get ill to the point they need ventilators that could ultimately lead to serious health problems for the rest of their lives or even death.
Schluer said officers have found that once they get a chance to educate people about why certain behavior is being banned during the pandemic emergency that they understand why the rules are in place and comply.
On Thursday, officers normally serving as school resource officers were calling on businesses in violation of state and county orders to close. Schluer said compliance is occurring once people are notified they need to close their business.
City maintaining center
to answer questions
The City of Manteca emergency command center is operating daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. to try and answer what questions they can from citizens emailing or calling in as well as to monitor the ongoing situation.
On Thursday, the center fielded 75 calls and answered 40 emails. A large number of the calls were concerns that specific businesses weren’tcomplying with closure rules.
The phone number for questions related to the coronavirus emergency is 456-8854 while the email is firstname.lastname@example.org
The City of Manteca is also maintaining a coronavirus update site on its website at ci.manteca.ca.us
It is on top of the home page. Click on the banner and it sends you to resources dealing with the pandemic from the Centers for Disease Control to state and county agencies. There is also information regarding what businesses can remain open as well as possible help with virus related financial issues.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com