OC chief health officer resigns amid criticism over face covering order

Orange County's chief health officer Dr. Nichole Quick resigned Monday night amid criticism over her order requiring face masks as businesses started to reopen.
SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- Orange County's Chief Health Officer Dr. Nichole Quick resigned Monday night amid criticism over her order requiring the public to wear face masks as businesses started to reopen.

The plan is to have recently appointed Health Care Agency Director Dr. Clayton Chau also take on duties as chief health officer.

Quick was receiving heightened security due to threats stemming from her the mask order. Protesters brought a poster with Quick's photo on it with a Hitler mustache on her face and swastikas to a Board of Supervisors meeting.

The face covering order in the county has been at the center of controversy. Sheriff Don Barnes last month addressed the issue with the County Board of Supervisors, saying he would not ask his deputies to enforce the order.

County officials later came to the defense of Quick after they said she received a death threat during a Board of Supervisors meeting when the public was allowed to comment.

Quick's resignation is the second major departure the county has seen during the pandemic. David Souleles retired in April as deputy agency director of public health services.

Orange County health officials have reported 113 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the county's cumulative total to 7,527, but the number of deaths remained unchanged at 177.

The number of hospitalized patients dipped from 297 on Sunday to 291 Monday, with the number in intensive care rising from 129 to 135, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.

Health officials say 85 of the deaths in the county involved residents of skilled nursing home facilities.

The number of people tested for the virus in the county stands at 161,547, with 3,326 documented recoveries.

City News Service contributed to this report.
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