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Coronavirus

Riverside County Supervisors propose ending public health orders

Riverside County Board Chair V. Manuel Perez and Vice Chair Karen Spiegel will bring forth a proposal during Tuesday's meeting that would revoke the county's four public health orders. This will not affect the stay-at-home orders as the county is following the state's order.

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The four orders currently in effect that would be removed are:

  • Face coverings and social distance of six feet when out in public
  • Limit to short term rentals,
  • Restrictions on reopened golf courses
  • School closures

The orders are currently set to expire on June 19. In fact, just yesterday, County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser extended the face-covering/social distancing orders to June 19.

If the proposal passes, Riverside County will not have any countywide orders more stringent than the State of California’s stay-at-home order. The proposed plan would also not replace any city, state or federal orders or recommendations.

The Supervisors hope that removing these orders will help the transition to economic and social recovery.

“I want to thank Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser who has led the charge with actions that have no doubt made a measurable impact in saving lives in our county,” said Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. “His early and proactive leadership got us very far ahead as a county. That, combined with data and strong economic arguments, is why I have the confidence that it is appropriate to lift these measures while we continue to align ourselves with the state’s stay-at-home order and roadmap for reopening.”

“We’ve successfully bent the curve of the disease. Sadly, the rise of unemployment sharply continues,” said Vice Chair Karen Spiegel, Second District Supervisor. “These actions will ensure that we are ready to reopen business as soon as the governor lifts the statewide restrictions.”

Perez further sites that the hospital and ICU bed number have been stable and the Federal Medical Stations have not been used.

Supervisor Perez further stated, "Our data and metrics show that we have conducted over 50,000 tests at five locations, which is two percent of our county’s population. We prepared for the expected hospital surge with two Federal Medical Stations that we have not had to use. Our hospital bed and ICU bed use have remained relatively consistent. These data explain why our original modeling has changed."

This comes just a few hours after health experts from all three of our valley's hospitals and Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz discussed hospital data and suggested that now may not be the right time to reopen.

Read: Coachella Valley data to be released, will help determine timeline to open back up

Experts said while we are not at the worst-case scenario projections, there was a 250% increase in cases in April alone. Experts attributed not only the spread of the virus but also increased testing.

Experts and the White House Task Force have suggested that there needs to be a steady decline of cases through a consecutive two week period before some of the precautionary measures are lifted.

As of April 30, Riverside County currently has a total of 4,031 cases, 149 deaths, and 1,483 recoveries.

On Wednesday night, the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce sent Perez a letter asking him to consider starting to reopen our local economy.

"The need is urgent. We believe our economy will suffer severe, irreversible damage if the current shutdown stretches into the summer months," writes Joshua R. Bonner, IOM President and CEO of the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Full story: GCVCC asks Riverside County Supervisor to start reopening local economy

The policy proposal can be found on Tuesday’s agenda at: http://riversidecountyca.iqm2.com/Citizens/Detail_Meeting.aspx?ID=2279.

The California stay-at-home order is located at: https://covid19.ca.gov/

Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

You can call the Centers for Disease Control with any questions at 211 and 800–CDC –INFO (800 – 232 – 4636).

If you want to be seen at Eisenhower Health, call their 24-hour coronavirus hotline first at 760-837-8988 or 760-TEST988. Avoid the spread of this illness.

These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus, according to the CDC.

How to get tested

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911.

You can get a test even if you do not have symptoms. Testing was expanded to include all residents on April 17.

Riverside County has testing sites in Indio, Blythe, Perris, Riverside, and Lake Elsinore.

Another testing site is set to open in Coachella, on 85365 Dillon Road. The Coachella site will be open Fridays and Saturdays beginning May 1. Call (833) 624-1097 to set-up a testing appointment.

If you want to get tested at one of the other five Riverside County testing sites, you will need to call 800-945-6171 to set up an appointment. Officials said the turnaround time for test results is typically 3-4 days.

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Jesus Reyes

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