Nearly 200 possibly exposed to coronavirus at religious service that violated stay-at-home orders

All attendees have been advised to self-quarantine.

May 17, 2020, 7:54 PM

California public health officials have notified more than 180 people that they may have been exposed to the coronavirus at a religious service held in violation of the state's stay-at-home order.

The Butte County public health department said Friday that an attendee at the service tested positive for the virus a day after the event.

Department officials said they have instructed the 180-plus people who attended the May 10 service to self-quarantine. Officials were also working to get them tested.

The person who tested positive is now in home isolation, officials said.

Public gatherings of any size are not allowed under Gov. Gavin Newsom's stay-at-home order. On May 9 Butte County moved into Stage 2 of the state's four-part reopening plan, which still does not allow for public gatherings.

PHOTO: A woman prepares a flower bouquetat a shop in the Los Angeles Flower District, May 8, 2020, after the county allowed retail establishments to open ahead of Mother's Day.
A woman prepares a flower bouquet at a shop in the Los Angeles Flower District, May 8, 2020, after the county allowed retail establishments to open ahead of Mother's Day.
Agustin Paullier/AFP via Getty Images, FILE

The health department urged residents to "do our part to follow the orders."

“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,” Butte County Public Health Director Danette York said in a statement. “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 department did not reveal where the service was held.

Earlier this month, the Pasadena public health department announced that a cluster of COVID-19 cases were traced to a birthday party in the Southern California city. The party was also held after the state's stay-at-home order went into effect.

California has 78,839 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 3,261 deaths, according to the latest data from the state.

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