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Ada County dispatch getting hundreds of calls about people ignoring stay-home order

The calls have included complaints of people standing too close together, groups of teens playing soccer, and businesses that appear to have people inside.

ADA COUNTY, Idaho — Hundreds of people are calling Ada County Dispatch to report people standing too close together, children playing outside, or businesses that appear to be open in violation of Idaho's stay-at-home order, according to the Ada County Sheriff's Office.

Since the governor's order went into effect March 26, dispatchers have taken at least 230 law enforcement calls for service related to coronavirus or the stay-at-home order. That number does not include any medical calls, the sheriff's office says; just the calls from people who want an investigation from police or deputies. 

"We'd like to gently ask people to weigh whether any behavior they see is actually creating an immediate or significant danger," the Ada County Sheriff's Office wrote in a release. "If not, then it probably isn't worth worrying about too much about or deserving of a call to law enforcement."

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The complaints have included reports of groups of teens playing soccer or basketball outside, businesses like bars or gyms having people inside; house parties; people who do not appear to be six feet apart; and businesses that callers do not believe should be considered essential.

Most of the businesses that people complained about were closed when deputies went by. Some of them had people inside performing maintenance or cleaning, but were not open to the public.

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The Ada County Sheriff's Office says deputies are prioritizing education about the stay-at-home order. Everyone deputies have interacted with about violating the order has voluntarily complied with their advice to go home. 

Deputies have not issued any tickets or routed any cases for charges connected to anyone violating the stay-at-home order, and the sheriff's office expects that to continue. 

"We realize these are confusing times, and there is a lot of anxiety about community spread of COVID-19," the Ada County Sheriff's Office posted. "What we are asking is that people to voluntarily comply with the order – and the vast majority of Ada County residents have done that."

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