Supervisors to consider ending remaining coronavirus health orders

The news comes just a day after the county public health officer extended public health mandates to June 19


RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Riverside County Board of Supervisors Chairman Manuel Perez said today he will ask the full board on Tuesday to terminate the remaining public health orders issued by the county’s top health official.
Perez said he and Supervisor Karen Spiegel will jointly present a motion to nullify the four active health orders Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser had amended Wednesday to keep in effect to June 19.
The orders include wearing face coverings outside the home at all times or face misdemeanor charges and fines, barring short-term rentals except in the case of providing emergency shelter for vulnerable persons, placing limits on golfing, keeping schools closed and mandating social distancing.
If a majority of the board votes to rescind, the county will revert to alignment with only mandates issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom, which focus on staying in the home under voluntary quarantine, with exceptions for so-called “essential” businesses and meeting everyday needs for personal well-being.
“Our data and metrics show that we have conducted over 50,000 (COVID-19) tests at five locations, which is 2% of our county’s population,” Perez said.
“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.”
According to Riverside University Health System figures, the number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations is down to 212, compared to nearly 230 last week.
There have been 4,031 documented infections, though Kaiser and other RUHS staff predicted a possible “surge” to 65,000 infections by the first week of May, later revised to 13,000, with 200 deaths.
The number of deaths in Riverside County from coronavirus-related complications is 149. There have been 1,483 recoveries, according to data.
The board granted Kaiser unfettered authority to issue public health mandates when it declared a local emergency on March 10.
During a news briefing at the County Administrative Center Wednesday, Kaiser acknowledged that the increase in temperatures and other seasonal changes would “slow the virus down,” but asserted the ongoing need to wear face coverings.
Perez said on Wednesday that the county was gradually moving toward the initial phases of recovery outlined by Newsom Tuesday.
Newsom detailed a “four-phase” reduction in state regulations to unchain the private sector from coronavirus restrictions as a major step forward, coming on the heels of President Donald Trump’s multi-phase “Opening Up America Again” framework unveiled April 16.
“We know the workforce is ready, and we know businesses are ready,” Perez said. “We need to do it in phases.”