Failing to meet certain key metrics in the state's color-coded system for reopening, Riverside County will remain in the purple tier at least another week.
Purple is the most restrictive tier, and indicates widespread coronavirus in the community. The next step in the four-tier framework is the red tier, which would allow for more indoor businesses to reopen, including indoor dining, movie theaters, and churches at a reduced capacity.
To advance, Riverside County must meet state thresholds for coronavirus positivity rate and case rate for at least two weeks. For the last week, Riverside County has met the required positivity rate, but not the case rate.
The state requires a positivity rate of less than 8 percent – the county is at 7.8 percent.
But Riverside County is still seeing too many new cases per day. The state wants to see fewer than 7 per day per 100,000 people. The county is currently reporting 7.4 – but the state adjusted it up to 8.6 because enough people aren't getting tested.
"As we moved forward over the last few months, people are just not getting tested as much," said Jose Arballo, senior public information officer with Riverside County Dept. of Public Health. He says testing dropped from about 4,000 tests per day to just half that.
Thomas Meagher got tested months ago. He said he's discouraged now by a delay in getting the results then.
"My own personal experience shook my faith in the testing system," Meagher said. "I hope it's better now. I hope it can finally help us get out of the worst tier."
"I'm not in much of a rush," said T.J. Tarazevits. He said he tested positive for coronavirus back in May, after Orange County reopened "too soon."
"Don't jump the gun," Tarazevits said. "Getting large groups of people indoors can be a little risky."
Click here to make an appointment to get tested.