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Fresno Supervisor Tests Positive for COVID. County Employees Quarantine.



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Fresno County supervisors and employees are quarantining at home after someone in the main administration building tested positive for the coronavirus, county spokesman Jordan Scott said Thursday.

He said workers were not told who in the County Hall of Records had tested positive. However, several independent sources confirmed to GV Wire℠ that a county supervisor had tested positive for the highly contagious virus. On Thursday evening, Supervisor Steve Brandau acknowledged he has tested positive for the virus.

The county office had health and safety rules in place requiring masking and social distancing, but the quarantine order was issued “out of an abundance of caution,” Scott said. “For what it’s worth, I feel great.”

He said employees who work on the third floor of the building in downtown Fresno, including the supervisors, their staffers, and administrative staff, were told to plan to work from home for 14 days. If subsequent testing comes back negative, they could return sooner, he said.

Although there have been employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 in other county offices in the past, Scott said he believed it was the first time the third floor of the Hall of Records has been emptied because of a positive test.

Next Supervisors’ Meeting Affected?

Scott and county administrative officer Jean Rousseau said they weren’t sure whether the quarantine would impact the next supervisors’ meeting, which is scheduled for Nov. 17.

With the exception of Supervisor Sal Quintero, the supervisors continued with in-person board meetings after the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic in mid-March. Quintero attends meetings by teleconference.

Supervisors do not wear masks during their meetings and they have continued to sit in their normal seats in their meeting room.

The Assessor’s Office was already working remotely and will continue to do so, Scott said. County services will still be available online and by telephone, he said.

The first-floor tax collector’s office, where homeowners may drop off property tax payments, was still open Thursday afternoon, Scott said.

Contact Tracing Underway

Rousseau said employees in his office and the county attorney’s office were among the employees told to work from home and self-quarantine. He estimated that 35 county employees were notified.

The county Public Health Department has initiated contact tracing, including contacting people who attended Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, he said.

“There weren’t a whole lot of people at Tuesday’s meeting, but those individuals will be contacted,” Rousseau said. ” … It’s one of those issues where we knew it would eventually hit the Hall of Records, like it’s hitting everywhere, and it is what it is.”

GV Wire senior reporter David Taub contributed to this story.

Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email