Coronavirus at issue in child-custody dispute

The coronavirus figured into an unusual child-custody dispute Monday morning in a normally quiet Danville neighborhood.

Lisa Henning Low called 911, saying her ex-husband had pointed a gun at her as she tried to pick up their two daughters, ages 7 and 10.

"I rang the doorbell, and I knocked and he opened the door," Low said, "He said, "I'm not giving you the kids. Get the hell out of here.' And he pulled a gun on me."

Danville police detained her ex at gunpoint and searched the house, but no gun was found. Geoff Gillette, a Danville police spokesman, said officers determined no crime had been committed and that it was a civil matter.

Low says she was stunned when officers said they couldn't help her get an emergency protective order, and that her daughters would be staying with her ex.

He told police he was concerned that Low was potentially exposing their daughters to the coronavirus because she works as an ER doctor at Kaiser .

She said her ex wanted "to have the children taken from me because of his concern for the children and their exposure to COVID-19," Low said.

Low, who works at Kaiser in Walnut Creek and Antioch, said her children aren't in any danger.

"The risk to children is minimal," she said. "I don't feel the children are at any serious risk. No child under 10 has died."

She says everyone at Kaiser has been taking proper precautions.

"We're in protective gear. We wear N-95 (masks), we wear shields, we cover our eyes, we wear hairnets," she said,

By phone, Low's ex-husband confirmed to KTVU he's concerned that because Low works at Kaiser, that she could be endangering the children,. He said he doesn't know who's been in the ER and that just because the coronavirus hasn't been reported doesn't mean it hasn't been at the hospital.

But he denied pointing a gun at his ex-wife, saying he's never owned a gun. He said, "This was a concoction that she did for dramatic effect."

For now, Low says she's in limbo because Contra Costa County Superior Court is closed because of the pandemic. She hopes other first responders and doctors in her situation won't go what she's going through.

"I'm completely distressed, you know? There's nothing now I can do. I feel completely hopeless," she said.