Coronavirus: At least 180 quarantined after attending Church service in California

Nurse practitioner Anne Marie Martland attends to a patient suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), at Scripps Mercy Hospital in Chula Vista, California, US, May 12, 2020. (Reuters)

At least 180 people have been asked to quarantine after attending a church service in California where one person later tested positive for coronavirus, according to a statement.

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The infected person received the test results a day after attending a Mother’s Day weekend service and is now isolating at home, Butte County Public Health Department (BCPH) announced on Friday.

“Despite the Governor’s order, the organization chose to open its doors, which resulted in exposing the entire congregation to COVID-19,” the county’s public health department said in a statement. “This decision comes at a cost of many hours and a financial burden to respond effectively to slow or stop the spread of COVID-19. Such decisions can place great risk on the County’s ability to continue opening at a faster rate than the State.”

Individuals who attended the service were found through COVID-19 contact tracing and were instructed to self-quarantine at home. The county is working with healthcare providers to test all of those who may have been exposed to the virus at the church, according to the statement.

Read also: California governor slowly reopens world's fifth largest economy

“At this time, organizations that hold in-person services or gatherings are putting the health and safety of their congregations, the general public and our local ability to open up at great risk,” BCPH said in the statement. “Moving too quickly through the reopening process can cause a major setback and could require us to revert back to more restrictive measures.”

In March 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom had banned gatherings until further notice in order to slow the spread of the virus. He recently allowed a slow reopening of the state with different stages. BCPH said the county’s “Stage 2” of the reopening plan still does not allow gatherings.

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On Tuesday, US infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci warned Congress that a premature lifting of lockdowns could lead to additional outbreaks of the deadly virus, according to Reuters.

The virus has killed 87,568 people in the US and over 300,000 globally. Nearly 1.5 million have been infected in the US while over 300,000 have recovered so far.

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Last Update: 11:52 KSA 14:52 - GMT 11:52
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