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COVID-19 Outbreak in Richmond CA’s Office Linked to Social Gathering

City hall
City Hall will be far emptier than usual over the next couple of weeks as a run of outbreaks sweeps through city offices. (Photo: Crixell Matthews/VPM News)

Health officials confirmed Thursday there was a “cluster” of COVID-19 cases in the office of the Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney in the last two weeks. This adds to a growing list of outbreaks in city offices; at least 25 city employees are now infected.

Richmond Health Department Director Dr. Danny Avula said during the city’s weekly COVID update that six people in the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office recently tested positive.  

Avula said a group of employees contracted the virus after attending a social gathering. He said three of them have cleared their isolation period and returned to the office while others remain quarantined, awaiting test results. 

Avula said the outbreak has not significantly affected daily operations at the office and, in a later email, said the general public shouldn’t be concerned. 

“Our case investigation and contact tracing around this cluster did not reveal any exposures to the public,” Avula said. 

Commonwealth’s Attorney Colette McEachin declined to comment citing state and federal health privacy laws. 

Earlier this week, the Richmond Registrar of Voters notified the public of an outbreak in her office. Employees there are quarantined at least through Monday. 

Mayor Levar Stoney’s office also quarantined after his campaign manager tested positive. 

“Let my office serve as an example to all of us,” he said. “We must stay vigilant or very soon, your world may change with one call from the Richmond City Health District.”

Whittney Evans is VPM News’ features editor.
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