California sheriff who refused to enforce COVID-19 order tests positive for virus

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SACRAMENTO, CA – APRIL 25: Sacramento sheriff Scott Jones speaks about the arrest of accused rapist and killer Joseph James DeAngelo during a news conference on April 25, 2018 in Sacramento, California. Sacramento district attorney Anne Marie Schubert was joined by law enforcement officials from across California to announce the arrest of 72 year-old Joseph James DeAngelo who is believed to be the the East Area Rapist, also known as the Golden State Killer, who killed at least 12, raped over 45 people and burglarized hundreds of homes throughout California in the 1970s and 1980s. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — A California sheriff who made headlines after refusing to enforce the governor’s curfew and stay-at-home orders has tested positive for COVID-19, the sheriff’s office said Wednesday.

According to the sheriff’s office, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones developed symptoms last week “after a workplace exposure to an employee (who) later tested positive.”

On Friday, Jones started experiencing a fever, congestion, light-headedness, and a headache, according to the sheriff’s office.

Jones’ symptoms were said to be mild, and had mostly gone away by Wednesday, officials said.

The sheriff and his immediate family are quarantining as his family members await test results.

On Nov. 24, Jones said he wouldn’t enforce a curfew or stay-at-home order amid rising COVID-19 cases in the state, citing Sacramento County’s previous successes following health guidelines.

“I have a tremendous amount of faith in folks to make those assessments relative to COVID,” Jones said.

He added that he had worn masks, kept his distance from others in the store, and only visited his parents twice during the year.

“I have strong constitutional convictions. I’m a lawyer, so I understand about constitutional law,” Jones said. “But my points are really much more practical in wanting to be more engaged with the community in a positive way. And not having to put the men and women of the sheriff’s office in the position of having to enforce these not criminal laws, but some weird sort of health ordinances.” 

CapRadio reports that his stance in November contradicted his department’s statements made to garner $104 million in federal relief funds earlier in the year when documents outlined a commitment to “breaking up gatherings re: restrictions” and “educat[ing] public on all calls for service.”

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