180 in quarantine after person with coronavirus attends Mother’s Day church service in California
A Butte County church (not pictured) broke California's lockdown protocols and hosted Mother's Day services.(Shutterstock.com)
Almost 200 people are being quarantined after possible exposure to coronavirus during a California church service on Mother’s Day.
A day after attending an in-person service at an unidentified Butte County church last Sunday, one of the worshippers tested positive for coronavirus, health officials announced Friday.
At least 180 people attended the church service, which broke the state’s mandates about group gatherings.
“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,” Danette York, county public health director, said in a statement.
“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. Moving too quickly through the reopening process can cause a major setback and could require us to revert back to more restrictive measures."
York said the county would not be publicly identifying the church, but said officials are working to contact everyone who attended services to get them tested for coronavirus.
A federal judge ruled this month that Gov. Gavin Newsom’s ban on church assemblies during the pandemic did not violate the constitutional rights to free assembly and religion
“During public health crises, new considerations come to bear, and government officials must ask whether even fundamental rights must give way to a deeper need to control the spread of infectious disease and protect the lives of society’s most vulnerable,” Judge John Mendez wrote in his ruling, according to the Los Angeles Times.
At latest update, more than 76,000 people in California have tested positive for coronavirus, with more than 3,200 deaths reported, according to the department of health.