RivCo health officer amends orders for stay-at-home, face coverings, social distancing

0
1223
Face masks at the grocery store are one new reality faced by residents of the Temecula Valley and surrounding communities after Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser extended his order requiring residents to wear face coverings when outside and for social distancing through June 19. Valley News/Courtesy photo

Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser extended his order requiring residents to wear face coverings when outside and for social distancing through June 19, the Riverside County Department of Public Health announced via a press release issued this afternoon.

With Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order still in place with no end in sight, the county also announced the move to fully align with the order until it is amended or rescinded.

“While we work within the governor’s plan for reopening the state, people must be mindful that COVID-19 has not been eliminated,” Kaiser said. “The new normal in Riverside County will still require social distancing, facial coverings and other precautions. Summer will only slow the virus, and we are already thinking about what will happen in the fall.”

Kaiser’s order, which was issued as part of Riverside County’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, means residents are required to remain in their primary residence unless they are engaged in an “essential business activity” such as grocery shopping or at the doctor.

The order, which takes effect May 1, immediately after the previous order expires at midnight April, 30, reads in part, “all individuals living in the state of California to stay at home or at their place of residence, except as needed.”

According to the press release issued by the Riverside County Joint Information Center, the moves were made to “flatten the curve and slow the spread of illness, which threatened to severely impact the county’s health system.”

Previous orders included the closure of public and private golf courses in Riverside County, along with the prohibition of in-house and drive-up worship services. Since the initial call to close golf courses have been allowed to reopen with restrictions and drive-up religious services have been reinstated, though in-person religious services are not allowed.

“Residents are answering the call to stay at home as much as possible, practice physical distancing and wearing a face covering to protect everyone. I thank you all for that,” Board Chair V. Manuel Perez, 4th District Supervisor, said. “It is making a difference, and this progress is a credit to everybody doing their part and using the best tools that we have right now to overcome this pandemic. As we begin to turn the corner, it is important that we also flatten the unemployment curve and work toward economic and social recovery.”

Kaiser’s orders closing Riverside County schools and limiting short-term lodging until June 19 remain in effect.

To date, in Riverside County there have been 3,942 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 143 deaths.

To read the full order, visit the Riverside County Department of Public Health website at www.rivcoph.org and click on coronavirus.

Kim Harris can be reached by email at valleyeditor@reedermedia.com.