Lassen County Slows Reopening as Virus Spreads

Lassen is a rural county of just under 35,000 in northeastern California on the border with Nevada. Until May 22, it hadn’t seen a single coronavirus case. But that changed this month when a resident traveled outside the county, became ill with the virus, and brought it home. As health officials began tracking the patient’s contacts, they found four other people had been infected.

The small outbreak made Lassen the first to rescind some of its reopening plans, SF Gate reports.

On Tuesday evening, the county notified businesses that had been allowed to reopen two weeks earlier that they would have to return to offering takeout food or curbside pickup. “We were fully aware of the risk that the virus could come to our community from people visiting people living in infected areas outside of our county or people visiting our county," Dr. Kenneth Korver, the county’s public health officer, wrote in a public health order. "Unfortunately, this did happen and we now have a serious problem. We need to contain the spread of the virus in Lassen County now.”

Lassen is already getting back to business. Having successfully identified and quarantined the infected individuals, the county said Thursday that it was ready to move forward with the reopening of restaurants, retail, salons, and places of worship once again.



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