Fresno County, city government fears of coronavirus outbreak easing

County officials say about 35 employees are away from work, a lot of them are getting tested, and so far, they're not aware of positive tests.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fear of a coronavirus outbreak in the Fresno County and Fresno city government may be easing up this week.

Fresno County's Hall of Records shut down offices last week after county supervisor Steve Brandau's COVID-19 diagnosis.

RELATED: Fresno Co. Supervisor Steven Brandau tests positive for COVID-19, will quarantine

"This was the first move to make," said Jordan Scott, a Fresno County spokesman. "Let's close the office, make sure the staff is safe, make sure the public is safe, and then just kind of assess the situation as we go."

The Hall of Records has reopened, but the third floor, where the supervisors work and meet, is shut down to the public. The staff is working from home or quarantining.

Rigorous screening greets everyone coming into the building now as foot traffic picks up during property tax season.

And extensive contact tracing is underway.

County officials say about 35 employees are away from work, a lot of them are getting tested, and so far, they're not aware of positive tests.

They say they're relying on public health officials to guide their safety protocols, but county medical officer Dr. Rais Vohra urged everyone in the entire county to wear masks when working indoors dating back to May.

County supervisors still weren't wearing them during meetings even as Supervisor Brandau coughed frequently during last Tuesday's meeting.

Supervisor Buddy Mendes, who sat right next to Brandau during that meeting, tells Action News he's tested negative and feels fine so far.

But to be safe, the county is pushing back some of the work supervisors would normally be doing this month.

"We actually had a special meeting scheduled for the 13th to evaluate and do interviews for some available positions right now," Scott said. "That meeting has been postponed to a later date."

They've also postponed next week's Board of Supervisors meeting for a week, which would allow them to meet in person again because quarantines would be complete.

They haven't made that decision yet nor have they decided whether to make masks mandatory.

Brandau had contact with Fresno's Mayor Lee Brand, Council Member Mike Karbassi, and Mayor-Elect Jerry Dyer at an election night party hosted by Kaiser Permanente community and government relations manager Serop Torossian.

All three of them tell us they've tested negative, but city officials are still quarantining for now.
Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.