California county health official resigns after receiving threats over face mask policy

The health officer of Orange County, Calif., resigned June 8 after receiving intense pushback for her order mandating that all residents must wear face coverings in public to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Nichole Quick, MD, issued the order in late May, which was met with resistance from some residents and elected officials. She even received what officials deemed a death threat at a county Board of Supervisors meeting, resulting in the Orange County Sheriff's Department providing a security detail for Dr. Quick.

At another county Board of Supervisors meeting, some county residents brought a poster with Dr. Quick's photo with a Hitler mustache and swastikas, the LA Times reports.

A county Supervisor Don Wagner also pushed back on the need for face coverings, saying at a board meeting that other regions in the country were not mandating the same. But he condemned the threats Dr. Quick received.

Dr. Quick is the third county health official to leave during the pandemic. Clayton Chau, MD, director of the Orange County Health Care Agency, will replace her as interim county health officer. The county will soon begin the search for a long-term replacement.

As of June 9, there had been 7,614 new coronavirus cases in Orange County and 185 deaths, the LA Times reports.

More articles on public health:
WHO official clarifies comments on asymptomatic spread of COVID-19
COVID-19 activity by region: Cases ramp up in rural areas
10 states with fastest, slowest COVID-19 spread: June 10

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