Covid Cases, Testing in Oakmont

(Updated March 17)


               Oakmont reinstated a masking requirement for its facilities after an outbreak in Covid cases following a music event that drew up to 200 people to the Berger Center.

Troy and Kathy Sowers sign in for testing. (Photos by Maureen McGettigen)

            The rule that masks be worn inside Oakmont facilities is in effect through April 15.

            The OVA mandate issued March 17 was described by Dr. Mark Lobato, county health specialist, as “the most prudent thing to do,” according to OVA representatives who met virtually with him and other health officials.

Mark Lobato, MD, and the county’s infectious diseases specialist, urged requiring masks in a virtual meeting with three OVA directors and the acting general manager. 

The health department opened a mobile test site in Oakmont after at least 50 people reported testing positive following a Feb. 25 Boomers Club concert featuring an Eagles tribute band. Attendees were asked to be vaccinated, but masks were not required.

Some 89 people were tested at the first mobile testing site, and 23 of those were positive. 

The county scheduled further testing at the Berger parking lot on March 23 and 30, from 9:30 a.m. until 11:15 a.m. both days.

            While state and county rules strongly recommend masking, organizations and businesses are free to make tighter rules. Given Oakmont’s older and therefor higher risk population, it was decided to take a more protective stance.

            All indoor events in OVA venues now require masks. Events with six or more people meeting face-to-face must use sign-in sheets and keep them for one month through April 15. They would be used if needed for contact tracing or a need to quarantine or be tested.

            Organizers of events can elect to also require proof of vaccination.

            The meeting March 16 included OVA directors Jeff Neuman, Heidi Klyn and Mark Randol, along with Dawn McFarland, acting OVA general manager. Also in the session was Rosanne Gephart, public health nurse.  

            Sha-Boom! had two recent events in the Berger. A New Year’s Eve dance drew more than 180 people. Group leader Ray Haverson there were no reports of Covid cases afterward, or from an Everly Brothers Experience concert March 4.

            Haverson said Sha-Boom! asks attendees to wear masks and set up the hall with tables in the middle and 16 feet apart, and three dance floors on the sides and at the front of the hall

            Another event at Berger, a March 10 Music at Oakmont concert featuring pianist Einav Yarden, drew 70 to 80 people. Music at Oakmont Director Rosemary Waller said attendees were encouraged to wear masks and that she saw no one without a mask. Waller said there were no reports of positive Covid tests among concert-goers.

People in line to sign up for Covid tests at Berger.