(Celebrate at home)
Riverside County health officials remind all residents and visitors that coronavirus continues to pose serious health hazards and to not take part in social gatherings during the upcoming Fourth of July holiday. Social gatherings are a known source of spreading the disease.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases has continued to rise recently, along with hospitalizations and ICU usage throughout all of Southern California. The county today is reporting 662 new cases, which is a new high for a single day increase, and 17 new deaths from the virus. Health officials are concerned the Independence Day weekend could cause a spike if residents do not adhere to safety guidelines.
“We don’t want any more closures, but our numbers are going through the roof,” said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, public health officer. “Bars are part of the problem but so are private gatherings. Please don’t mix households, even if you think everyone is healthy, and instead celebrate the holiday with the people you live with. We started seeing more and more cases after Memorial Day and we can’t afford another jump after the Fourth of July.”
Hospitals have prepared for a surge in cases for months, and health officials remind the community that everyone has a part to play in flattening the curve and slowing the spread of the disease. These measures include wearing face coverings as required, maintain social distancing and frequent handwashing.
On Monday, Kaiser ordered all bars in Riverside County closed, following a recommendation by Gov. Gavin Newsom, who issued a similar order for seven California counties. The governor was reacting to a recent surge in coronavirus cases statewide and placement of several counties on a state-generated watch list, including Riverside County.
“This virus is very real, and we know it is spreading and growing,” said Riverside County Board Chair and Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. “Gatherings of family and friends are dangerous right now, and underserved communities are especially impacted by these gatherings.”
Riverside County officials also remind residents to get screened at one of the many coronavirus testing sites located throughout the region. More than 200,000 tests have been conducted in Riverside County so far. For more information on testing, click www.rivcoph.org/coronavirus/testing.
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