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Dyer on COVID: Says He's Feeling Worse. Former Commissioner Confirms Hosting Event.
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 3 years ago on
November 11, 2020

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Incoming Fresno mayor Jerry Dyer said he is feeling worse, one day after revealing he tested positive for COVID-19.

“It got a little worse today. It hurts to cough or move. I feel like all my energy has been stripped away. This is a weird virus in that just when you think you are feeling better it hits you again,” Dyer said via text.

Dyer attended an election night private gathering on Nov. 3, where now three people have revealed they have COVID.

Last week, Fresno County Supervisor Steve Brandau said he tested positive, but wasn’t diagnosed until after the election gathering. He did say he had a slight cough that day and in hindsight should have stayed home.

GV Wire℠ publisher and Granville Homes president/CEO Darius Assemi also attended the party and contracted COVID. As of last night, he said he felt flu-like symptoms but has since improved.

Dyer says he is recuperating at home and will be in quarantine until at least next Friday (Nov. 20). He said his family is getting tested.

Winning the election outright last March, Dyer is set to officially become Fresno’s mayor on Jan. 5.

ABC 30 initially tweeted about Dyer’s updated condition.

Event Host Breaks Silence

Photo of Serop Torossian
Serop Torossian

Serop Torossian, the Fresno-based community and government relations manager for the Kaiser Permanente Kaiser Permanente Fresno Medical Center, confirms he hosted the party.

“This was a small private gathering, hosted on my own time and not associated with Kaiser Permanente, that I believed at the time to be safe. My family and I are taking appropriate precautions to be tested and quarantined, and as I’ve been working offsite for several months, I haven’t had any recent in-person contact with colleagues at Kaiser Permanente, Torossian said in a statement from Kaiser.

Torossian left the Fresno planning commission earlier this year, ending a 14-year run serving on the board.

Original story:

GV Wire publisher Darius Assemi says he too has tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the third person who attended an Election Night event to go public with their diagnosis.

Assemi revealed his diagnosis on Tuesday evening on his weekly GV Wire: Unfiltered program on Facebook. Earlier in the day, Fresno Mayor-elect Jerry Dyer said he also attended the event and has contracted the coronavirus.

Fresno County Supervisor Steve Brandau was the first of those attending to say he received a COVID-19 diagnosis. He attended the event that multiple attendees described as a “small, private gathering.” Brandau first disclosed his diagnosis in an interview with GV Wire on Nov. 6.

Assemi — also president and CEO of Granville Homes — confirmed Tuesday that he was at the gathering.

“I attended a private dinner on Election Night that included Steve Brandau and Mike Karbassi. After learning that Supervisor Brandau tested positive for COVID-19, I was tested at the Fresno County Department of Health on Friday morning. I received results on Friday evening that I had tested positive. I have experienced symptoms including a headache, a mild cough and mild muscle aches starting on Saturday. I have not had a fever and I’m already feeling better than I did over the weekend.”

Assemi is known for his political involvement and philanthropy in the community. He said he notified his employees on Thursday evening that he had been exposed to COVID-19 and started self-quarantining on Friday.

Karbassi, Brand Say They are COVID Free

Karbassi confirms he attended the same event, and has tested negative for COVID-19. He voluntarily placed himself under self-quarantine.

Fresno Mayor Lee Brand issued a statement Tuesday saying his test results came back negative, although GV Wire has not independently confirmed he attended the same Election Night event. Other media have reported that he did.

Dyer compared his symptoms to a severe cold, but says he is feeling better.

Supervisor Meeting Canceled

Brandau attended two supervisor meetings last week. While he wore a mask outside the meeting, he and other supervisors did not wear a mask once the meeting started.

Three other supervisors sat closely on the dais next to Brandau — Nathan Magsig, Buddy Mendes and Brian Pacheco. A fifth supervisor, Sal Quintero, has been working remotely since the start of the pandemic.

Magsig, Mendes and Pacheco tell GV Wire℠ they feel fine. Pacheco and Mendes added that they both tested negative.

A regularly scheduled Board of Supervisors meeting for Nov. 17 has been canceled. A special meeting scheduled for Nov. 20 is still listed on the county’s webpage. The agenda has not been released.

Fresno County interim health director Dr. Rais Vohra, during a media briefing Tuesday, said this incident shows anyone can catch COVID.

“This virus doesn’t discriminate. It really can infiltrate whatever types of gatherings we have,” Vohra said. “Hopefully people can take this as a really good lesson as we move into the Thanksgiving season. None of the people that attended that dinner party had any malice.”

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David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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