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COVID-19 complaints about Siskiyou businesses can be filed online

Kelsey Shelton
Siskiyou Daily News

Siskiyou County residents who have complaints regarding COVID-19 or other public health, environmental health or planning issues can now file them through the county’s website or 211norcal, a third party site which provides local health information regarding the pandemic.

Deputy Director of Planning Kirk Skierski reminds those who are submitting a complaint that they will remain anonymous.

“This standard complaint form has been on the county's website since 2013," said Skierski, although it's been getting more attention since the pandemic hit. Those who want to file a complaint about businesses who aren't enforcing the mask mandate or other COVID-19 concerns are utilizing the form.

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Skierski said different departments are responsible for different kinds of complaints. 

“Say the county receives a complaint of a restaurant with unsanitary conditions, that is not a code violation, but an environmental health one," he said. Things like standard noise complaints go to the Sheriff’s office or local law enforcement. 

The complaint form allows the county's code enforcement to verify complaints, investigate, and then provide businesses or individuals who are not in compliance options to become compliant.

Traditionally, most complaints revolve around zoning, un-permitted construction on property, properties being used for a business that is not allowed, but there has been an increase in COVID-19 related complaints.

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“A lot of people are apprehensive regarding the process because they don't want to be disclosed to their neighbors," said Skierski. He believes this is why people are more inclined to call in their complaints. But it is always recommended that complaints be submitted online.

“Anyone who submits a complaint remains anonymous through the entire process,"  Skierski said.

By filing in writing, A formal process of investigation is created by the county. This helps keep track of complaints received and creates an administrative record for the county to process.

“If you truly want the county to follow up you have to submit it in writing to allow follow up,” said Skierski.

If a business receives a complaint regarding COVID-19 mandates and protocols, they will be contacted, Skierski said. “We hope these businesses come into voluntary compliance ... We engage with them, provide them with educational pieces and additional resources with hopes that they come into compliance.” 

• To file a standard code enforcement complaint, visit www.co.siskiyou.ca.us/planning/webform/code-enforcement-complaint?fbclid=IwAR3KhZdxg854W_c-mWv7lyXM_mmgvljqv17qgx497t60SN1IETOZBviqKPY

More resources can be found at https://211norcal.org/.