Virginia Department of Health‘s new webpage is permitting people to report churches and businesses in violation of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s Coronavirus orders.
Residents can anonymously report alleged violations of Northam’s executive orders regarding the capacity requirements and facemasks on the health department’s website.
Lynchburg Commonwealth’s Attorney Bethany Harrison says an anonymous reporting system could lead to abuse.
Executive Order 63 and 65 is as Follows:
Online Complaint Report for Violations of Executive Order 63 (Face Coverings) and Executive Order 65 (Phase Two Easing of Certain Temporary Restrictions)
If you have observed violations of Executive 63 or Executive Order 65 and wish to file a complaint, fill out this report form as completely as possible. Executive Order 63 involves the requirement to wear a face-covering while inside buildings. Frequently Asked Questions about Executive Order 63 are available here. Executive Order 65 involves Phase Two easing of certain temporary restrictions due to COVID-19; complaints related only to Executive Order 65 that involve cloth face coverings or capacity requirements may be filed with this form. The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has the authority to enforce Executive Order 63 and section A of Executive Order 65. VDH will review your complaint and forward it to your Local Health Department.
People who are in violations of Executive [Order] 63 or Executive Order 65 are asked to list the nature of complaints such as citizens not wearing face coverings. Additionally, if a business “establishment was above the current required capacity” or “people in this establishment were not following social distancing guidelines,” people may file a grievance through the website. Executive Order 65 also prohibits churches holding 50 percent or more congregants.
Virginia state Sen. Mark D. Obenshain says that we are becoming a nation of snitches, and the action is a gross overreach — a ‘serious power move’ by the government.
“Gov. Northam is asking private citizens to tattle on their fellow citizens regarding his mask order and encouraging complaints to be submitted specifically as to churches and gun ranges. And these complaints can be made anonymously,” Obenshain posts on Facebook. “There is nothing to prevent businesses from snitching on competitors or to prevent the outright fabrication of reports.”
He adds by saying the Governor just setup the ‘snitch police’ for masks and reopening policies.