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Press Conference: Local public health emergency proclamation issued due to coronavirus case in Riverside County


On Sunday, Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County Public Health Officer, declared a local public health emergency during a news conference at Eisenhower Health in Rancho Mirage.

“I am proclaiming a local public health emergency subject to ratification by Riverside County board of supervisors after Tuesday meeting,"said Kaiser.

Eisenhower Health is currently treating a patient after being diagnosed Saturday night with the potentially deadly virus.

"The patient was not exposed to any other patient, they were brought immediately into an isolation room in the hospital," said Michael Connors, Infection Preventionist at Eisenhower Health.

Kaiser said he believes that patient's exposure to the community is low.

The hospital setting up a COVID-19 hotline. Health officials said anyone who thinks they might be experiencing symptoms of the virus should call the hospital hotline at 760-837-8988. 

And now, are taking measures further.

"We're doing some out of the box things for testing, if people come in testing that are not sick enough to be admitted we trying to keep them out of the hospital all together and have the health care worker go out to the patient for testings," said Connors.

The officials said the patient is receiving treatment and does not have any connection to schools in the county but didn't provide any other patient details.

"We think we have a pretty good handle where this person has been fortunately," said Kaiser. "We're getting some more information together before we make a determination but what we really want to find out where they were exposed and once we find that out then we can properly inform what we believe the risk to be."

The county is now investigating the patient's case. Dr. Kaiser is offering this recommendation for the public.

"If you're well you don't need to be tested," said Kaiser."Please don't come to emergency room and hospitals and clog up trying to do that. The same recommended steps that we would say to people still apply for this: wash your hands, maintain good social distance, don't come to work if you're sick."

News Channel 3 asked Dr. Kaiser about the potential cancellation of upcoming sporting events and music festivals in the valley. 

"Currently, no. We have no immediate decisions on any of things yet but we would like to do so quickly," said Kaiser.

Dr. Kaiser told us they hope to complete their investigation of the patient's case in the next day or two.

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Dani Romero


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