North Richmond pastor cited for violating COVID-19 health order

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North Richmond pastor cited for violating COVID-19 health order
Photo: Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office

A North Richmond pastor was given a misdemeanor citation for violating the public health order at his church on Sunday, where about 40 people had gathered, according to the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office.

At 12:32 p.m., the sheriff’s office received an anonymous complaint about an unlawful assembly at the All Nations Church of God in Christ, at 1225 York St. A deputy who responded to the location reported seeing about 40 people inside the church not wearing face masks or practicing social distancing, as mandated by the public health order during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Deputy first spoke to the deacon and asked to speak to the pastor who was in front of the parishioners,” the sheriff’s office said. “The pastor was uncooperative and refused to talk to the Deputy.”

On Monday, a deputy responded to the church and issued a misdemeanor citation to the pastor for violating the public health order.

“Our focus has been on education of the Health Officer Order and in the vast majority of cases we ask for voluntary compliance and that solves the problem,” Contra Costa Sheriff David Livingston said. “This was different. The pastor refused to cooperate and put the lives of dozens of parishioners at risk.”