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Coronavirus

Riverside County could see two-to-three times as many cases & hospitalizations by next month

Dr. Geoffrey Leung, the Chair of the County's Family Medicine Department, said hospitalizations and cases in Riverside County could increase by two-to-three times by this time next month if current infection trends continue.

Leung said the county hospitals are better prepared for a surge this time around as safety protocols are written out and there is a good supply of PPE.

He also added that this time around, the county has learned how to quickly trade off space to make room for more patients.

Leung also noted that not as many residents are taking the proper precautions as they would hope. He refers to social distancing and wearing masks when out in public and around people they don't live with. This is a part of a virus fatigue health officials have noticed in the community.

TODAY'S CORONAVIRUS UPDATE:

Riverside County reported 1,668 new cases, 7 deaths, and 24 additional hospitalizations since Friday. The county has passed 300 hospitalizations for the first time since Aug. 19.

More Details on today's local cases

On Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced the state is hitting an
"emergency brake'' on economic activity, moving 28 counties back to the most restrictive tier of California's matrix governing business operations.

The governor also announced that the administration is discussing the possibility of a statewide curfew.

Details: Newsom 'sounding the alarm,' considering curfew as CA sees highest rate increase of coronavirus cases yet

This comes after what the governor called an "unprecedented" spike in new coronavirus cases across the state.

Newsom said daily cases numbers in the state "have doubled just in
the last 10 days. This is simply the fastest increase California has seen since
the beginning of this pandemic.''

At the start of November, the state saw a 51.3% increase in a one-week period, he said.

The move means 41 of the state's 58 counties are now in the restrictive "purple" tier, which severely restricts capacity at retail establishments, closes fitness centers and limits restaurants to limited outdoor-only service. The 41 counties represent 94.1% of the state's population. Before Monday, only 13 counties were in the "purple'' tier.

Riverside County has been in the "purple" tier since Oct. 20.

Newsom also announced changes in the way counties will be classified in the state's four-tier reopening matrix. Previously, counties could only move backward in the roadmap if they failed to meet key metrics -- the rates of new cases and positive tests -- for two consecutive weeks. Now a county will be moved backward after just one week of elevated numbers.

Counties can also potentially be moved back multiple tiers in the matrix if the numbers warrant, Newsom said. Under the new guidelines, counties that are moved backward in the tier system must require businesses to meet the accompanying operating restrictions immediately, as opposed to a previous three-day grace period.

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Jesus Reyes

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