The Calaveras County District Attorney’s Office has been further impacted by COVID-19 after three employees tested positive for the virus, with an additional three tests pending for other symptomatic employees.

District Attorney Barbara Yook told the Enterprise on Monday that her office will not be closing due to earlier precautionary measures taken to move some staffing groups off-site from the main office trailer in San Andreas.

“Because of the precautions we took, we are not anticipating any negative impact to our cases in the court at this time,” Yook stated. “We will have to adjust aspects of our office work flow due to the further reduced availability of staffing on site.”

On Monday morning, Deputy District Attorney Jeffrey Stone informed visiting El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Thomas A. Smith of the outbreak prior to continuing proceedings for a jury trial for David Fagundes, a Washington state man charged with murder and arson.

Stone, who wore a mask, told the judge that he had visited the office occasionally in recent days and, therefore, had limited exposure to the virus. Smith stated that the trial would proceed before calling the jury into the courtroom.

Although the jurors were not present during Stone’s announcement of the outbreak, they were asked if COVID-19 would be a concern for them prior to being selected to serve. All jurors have worn masks and maintained social distancing in spaced-out seats for the duration of the trial.

Some officials working in the courtroom have not worn masks, while others have only worn them while in close proximity to other individuals. The attorneys and the defendant have worn masks, occasionally removing them to speak.

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Dakota graduated from Bret Harte in 2013 and went to Davidson College, NC where she earned a bachelor's degree in Arab studies. After spending time studying in the Middle East and Europe, she is happy to be home, writing about the community she loves.

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