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180 people told to quarantine after attending Butte County church service with coronavirus-infected person

The person who initially tested positive for COVID-19 did not find out about their test results until the day after the church service.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this April 22, 2020, file photo, a nurse prepares to take a sample for a COVID-19 test during a drive-in testing outreach in the parking lot of a church in Kansas City, Mo. As more U.S. states push to reopen their economies, many are falling short on one of the federal government's essential criteria for doing so — having an efficient system to track people who have been physically near a person infected person with the coronavius. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif — More than 180 people who attended a Mother's Day church service in Butte County were told to self-quarantine after coming in contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus.

According to county health officials, the person who initially tested positive for COVID-19 did not find out about their test results until the day after the church service. That person is now home and under isolation.

County officials did not offer the name of the church, or in which city it is located. All of the people who attended the service have been contacted and told to quarantine.

Butte County Public Health Director Danette York said the service, which defied local and state stay-at-home orders, puts people and the county's ability to open up "at great risk."

"We all need to do our part to follow the orders and mitigation efforts so that our Reopen Butte County plan can continue to move forward," York said. "Moving too quickly through the reopening process can cause a major setback and could require us to revert back to more restrictive measures. We implore everyone to follow the State order and our reopening plan to help combat the potential spread of COVID-19."

The county has 22 confirmed cases of coronavirus and has had no deaths.

Butte County is one of 22 California counties given the OK this week to begin reopen sooner as the state continues to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. While the county is able to move more quickly through Phase 2 of the state's reopening plan, it still does not allow gatherings.

Phase 2 only means reopening certain businesses with modifications, like dine-in restaurants, outdoor museums, shopping centers, in-store retail, and more.

Gatherings at churches, or any other small buildings where dozens of people might congregate, are part of the state's Phases 3 and 4, which could take months.



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