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Riverside County Public Health Officer orders large events canceled

Thu, 12/03/2020 - 05:00

Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser today ordered the cancelation of public gatherings of 250 people or more in Riverside County as a means of slowing the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The order mirrors recommendations issued Wednesday evening by the California Department of Public Health.

“These restrictions may seem harsh, given the relatively low number of coronavirus cases in Riverside County, but they are necessary if we are going to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Kaiser, who Sunday declared a public health emergency after announcing the county’s first locally acquired COVID-19 case.

“I do not take these restrictions lightly and clearly they will impact many in organizations and individuals in the community. We’re in this together and I believe they’re necessary to slow and eventually stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Dr. Kaiser said county health officials had previously been working with community partners to establish guidelines for public gatherings.

Riverside County has eight confirmed cases – six in Coachella Valley and two cruise ship passengers who have not returned to the region since being diagnosed. Dr. Kaiser urges seniors and those with underlying health issues in the Coachella Valley to limit non-essential travel. One of the Coachella Valley cases is considered “community spread,” meaning health investigators have not determined the source of the infection.

County health officials are working with local school, city and nonprofit organizations to provide guidelines on how the new restrictions will be implemented.