ONEONTA, Ala. (AP) — A rural Alabama sheriff said his department won’t enforce state guidelines limiting public activities during the coronavirus pandemic.
Blount County Sheriff Mark Moon, who posted on social media that he had instructed deputies not to take action against businesses or churches that violate state restrictions, told WBMA-TV that he was not defying Gov. Kay Ivey.
“It’s just we have people in our county that are hurting that need to get back to work and support their families. I can’t in my heart of hearts punish somebody for trying to do what’s best for themselves their families and their congregations,” he said.
A state order includes possible fines of as much as $500 for places that violate the mandatory restrictions.
Blount County has about 58,000 residents northeast of Birmingham. It has at least 40 cases and no reported deaths of COVID-19.