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As Coronavirus Cases Rise, Health Officers Face Threats Over Safety Rules

PLACER COUNTY (CBS 13) — As COVID-19 cases rise, so does the backlash and anger over safety rules.

California's highest increase in new COVID-19 cases happened just 24 hours ago. At first, Gov. Newsom urged residents to wear masks, now that recommendation is a mandate. But to some this is not health advice, it's a violation of their rights.

"He's the governor of California, not the ruler of the world. But he thinks he is, but he's not," said Ross Kaiser, a Roseville resident.

Some elected officials in Placer and Nevada Counties publicly dispute whether the governor's mask mandate is actually mandatory. Many are telling their constituents it's just guidance, despite the fact police and state agencies said it's enforceable.

READ ALSO: Contradicting Health Experts, Placer County Supervisor Says Face Masks Are Just For Show

In Sacramento, the county health department is facing "extreme distrust regarding data and contacting tracing and displeasure over the face covering mandate."

During a press conference Wednesday, Governor Newsom apologized to health officers who are facing violent threats. The California Health Officers Association said half a dozen county health leaders are leaving their position in the coming weeks.

In Placer County, supervisors just voted unanimously to remove the county health officer's authority to end the local health emergency.

"This puts us in a position where our board can listen to multiple voices as opposed to just one voice," said Kirk Uhler, a Placer County Supervisor.

Uhler said elected officials can better consider the bigger picture when ending a health emergency.

"The economy of our county, the livelihoods as opposed to just the lives of the residents of our county," he said.

The exasperation over coronavirus goes both ways. Some people wish others would take wearing a mask more seriously.

"Everything's a political issue these days, it's unfortunate," said Kortni O'Conner, a Roseville resident.

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