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La Quinta warns of possible Covid exposure at crowded meeting as city manager tests positive

A new warning Monday from the City of La Quinta urged dozens of residents to get a coronavirus test after they were possible exposed to the virus during a crowded meeting last week.

It comes after a top city official tested positive over the weekend: City Manager Jon McMillen got a breakthrough case of Covid despite being vaccinated.

"Yeah, it's still out there," McMillen said in an interview with News Channel 3. "Even though we’re getting that sense and that feeling that it's behind us, it's definitely not behind us."

McMillen is working in isolation from his home after his routine monthly test came back positive following last Tuesday's meeting between city leaders and the planning commission, where he believes he may have been exposed. "It was certainly one of those places that could have been ... an exposure point," he said.

He has had two shots of a Covid vaccine and describes himself as cautious in day-to-day life including social distancing and avoiding large gatherings.

In the meeting, more than 100 people were packed into city council chambers. "Good to see a full room," Mayor Linda Evans said to the crowd. Only a select few were visibly wearing masks, which are only required in city hall for those who remain unvaccinated.

Derek Wong was at the meeting – despite being vaccinated, he's concerned and is now scrambling to alert other attendees.

"After this interview, I have to contact my friends and neighbors who were there as well just to warn them," Wong said. "You’ve gotta be super cautious and super diligent."

And despite having only a mild case, McMillen said it serves as an important reminder: "Dont let your guard down; be careful," he said.

McMillen his symptoms never included a fever – he had some congestion, a headache, a sore throat and sneezing.

Tuesday night's city council meeting will be held virtually.

Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.

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