The Fresno County Health Department has asked more than 40 people to self-quarantine following the recent COVID-19 infection of Fresno County Supervisor Steve Brandau. Some of these people, including mayor-elect Jerry Dyer who also tested positive, attended an election night dinner party with the supervisor.
Granville Homes President and CEO Darius Assemi was another guest who attended the private dinner party last Tuesday. By Friday evening, he found out he had tested positive.
“It is very upsetting, very upsetting to me. But it is what it is. Here we are,” Assemi said.
While hosting a Facebook Live talk Tuesday, Assemi confirmed his diagnosis. He said he wore a mask to the dinner but took it off to eat. Supervisor Steve Brandau was also on the talk and said he regrets not being more cautious. He started feeling a scratch in his throat the afternoon before the party.
“The mistake was not that I should have gone to the party and worn a mask. The mistake was that I shouldn't have even gone to the party,” Brandau said.
Dozens of Fresno County staff members who came in contact with Brandau have also self-quarantined.
The Fresno County Department of Public Health’s interim health officer, Dr. Rais Vohra said that as Thanksgiving approaches, this is a reminder of the risks of gatherings.
“I’m sure none of the people that attended that dinner party had any malice or any intention to spread the infection. It’s just that asymptomatic infection is a real thing. People can still feel pretty well and still have the virus and still pass it on,” he said.
Fresno County public health officials are already seeing another upswing in COVID-19 cases that could revert the county back into the purple tier of the statewide reopening blueprint.